Rick Abelen


Gaverbeekse Meersen


Marsh House (‘Meershuisje’) holds the landscape of the Gaverbeek moors in a special spotlight. As a look-out and a place of contemplation, the house is an unparalleled room with a view on the Gaverbeek, its pristine pastures and biodiversity. A periscope through the roof offers a bird’s-eye view on the meandering landscape. Marsh House presents itself as an archetypical house, quite literally adding a physical and recognisable address to the hard-to-get-at reserve. With nature and experience at the forefront, the installation is a simple plated timber frame coated in white. The house offers a new perspective on spatial quality, with an understanding of the past and a glance at the future. Thanks to its remarkable presentation, the hut stands as a recognisable accent within all of the green splendour. It is a physical place to experience and discover nature at its best, a roof for man, art, landscape and nature to live under in terrific harmony. 


Exact GPS coordinates artwork: 50°54'05.0"N 3°25'09.3"E

Nature reserve Gaverbeekse Meersen extends along the lower reaches of the Gaverbeek creek in Zulte and Waregem. The marshes are still an important flood zone and nature acquisition area, where nature can be sustained without affecting agriculture, forestry or recreation all too severely. An old railway embankment cuts through the very heart of this area of natural beauty with its lovely meadows and hayfields. The hut, in the middle of the open green, overlooking the Meersen moors and verging on hiking and cycling trails, may be accessed via this obsolete embankment. The area is particularly proud to call the viviparous lizard – one of the few reptiles that give birth to live offspring and don’t lay eggs – a rare and remarkable resident. 


Dutch architect Rick Abelen wanted to draw houses ever since his early school days. He is intrigued by the built world and all its complexity, and especially so by the relationship between large and small scales, architecture and feasibility. The influence that architecture has on man and vice versa presents him with an interesting field of tension. Abelen works for an architectural agency. He also realises his own projects and has been a writer for an architecture magazine. Day after day, the artist finds himself tremendously satisfied and utterly energised by his interest in the built environment and man.