In 1972, the Marian Sisters of St-Francis of Waasmunster (Belgium) commissioned Dom Hans van der Laan to built their convent amidst an open field in the woods. It was to be a contemplative guest house for 12 sisters and 25 guests, which makes it unique in its typology. By the time the convent was inaugurated in 1975, Van der Laan had started writing his most essential book Architectonic Space (1977). This abbey can be seen as the direct implementation of its concepts, linking mass to space in an interplay of inside and outside.
For a full exploration and design analysis, see: Caroline Voet, A House for the Mind, Antwerp: VAi, 2017.