Kartasan House by Atelier Vens Vanbelle Has an Oak Tree at its Center

This house isn’t the smallest, but it’s definitely unique. Kartasan House features an oak tree at its core that supports the home’s various floors and acts as a focal point.


The house is set in a busy residential neighborhood in Ghent, Belgium. The project was taken on by the architecture firm, Atelier Vens Vanbelle, and completed in 2016.



The original building had been left in a state of disrepair, with much of the internal structure rotting and being supported by temporary props. The internals were gutted in order to make was for the new structure – an oak tree with a series floors wrapping around it.



The house is on the large size for those typically featured on this site. Thanks to its height, and the number of floors (including a basement), it has a total floor area of 2,045.14-square-feet (190-square-meters).


The renovated home takes advantage of window openings at every opportunity. Windows are found at every level, on every wall, and introduce lots natural light, and viewpoints over the street below.


Kartasan House has a variety of living areas over the height of the home, from the living room on the ground floor, to a more informal lounge and music room/study on the first. The somewhat random placement of floors was due to the window openings – floors were to take advantage of the existing window openings.


The public living spaces can be found on the lower levels; the higher up you go the more private they become. As such, the bedrooms are located in the attic. From the architects: “An oak tree trunk was placed as new support structure in the middle of the pentagonal plan. The tree was a logical and affordable solution, and it immediately gave the right atmosphere to the new home.”


For more living spaces check out Cubitat, a modular living unit from Toronto. Or, this small house that has space for both business and home life. See all living spaces.

Photos © Tim Van de Velde

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment