Belgian design is pretty hot right now. Soft colours, worn woods, old-world charm… you can find pictures of beautiful serene Belgian interiors featured on lots of blogs, like one of my favourites, Belgian Pearls.
But there’s another side to Belgian design that might surprise you...
Architect Rita Huys of the Belgian architecture firm Buro2 was commissioned to re-design an old farm barn in the rolling hills of Central West Flanders, Belgium.
Rita took into account the weather conditions and surrounding nature as she turned the barn into a home. She created an elegant interior with a rustic touch while maintaining the building’s relationship to the outside world and its physical and emotional connection to the surrounding landscape.
Rita created large openings at the two ends of the barn’s long rectangular shape so the homeowners can enjoy wide and relaxing views of the Belgian countryside.
The interior includes a living room, dining room, library, office, and a small mezzanine where the ensuite bedrooms are located.
The dense shutters enveloping the house protect the homeowners from harsh weather conditions. Parts can open wide on a warm sunny day, creating a welcoming atmosphere. “After all,” says Rita, “the house’s best room is, in a way, the outdoors.”
The Greenhouse is located in Asse, Belgium and was designed by the Belgian architect Carl Verdickt. The house stands out from other eco-friendly homes with its affordability, heat trapping ability, and unique design.
The structure is framed by a ready-made steel structure and encased in an alternating series of super-insulating transparent glass and translucent polycarbonate plates. Extra insulation is also added at the back of the glass walls to shield certain areas of the house from the public eye.
Through the clever use of the insulating glass, the same heating effect that is found in a real greenhouse is successfully mimicked. This occurs when heat from the sun’s rays passes through the glass walls and warms up the interior, while the insulation in the glass prevents the heat from escaping.
A daytime shot… (from remodelista)
The house is furnished minimally with whites and woods to complement the feeling of openness that prevails throughout the home. The floors are concrete.
The bedrooms are on the lower level and the main level is an open-floor concept. This layout allowed the architect to highlight the foliage and surrounding scenery through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
That’s a revolving fireplace!!
In contrast to the main level, the private quarters beneath are arranged in a closed manner, with narrow corridors and minimal windows. This may have been done to further heighten the sensation of openness as you walk up the stairs, and to emphasize the amount of privacy below.
House Kempeneers is in a rural area in eastern Belgium. The architects were inspired to create the house in the shape of a parallelogram because of its non-perpendicular orientation with the street.
The client wanted an open concept home. The entrance area is integrated into the kitchen and living room, and there are no enclosed hallways.
All glass is glued cold without any profiles. The profiles are also submerged into the floor to avoid any thresholds and obstacles between inside and outside. The continuous floor covering is a natural stone tile in Chinese bleu stone. It gives the impression of flowing through inside and outside.
This floating staircase freaks me out. I seriously don’t think I could handle going up and down these stairs…
Do you like it this modern side of Belgian design??
Could you see these modern homes with traditional interiors??
If you lived in one of these homes, how would you decorate it??
Barn House from Architecture Lab
Uccle from Adelto