November 19, 2009

Another side of Belgian design

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.

19lefevre29aug060032411200685806 Lefevre Interiors

But there’s another side to Belgian design that might surprise you...

barn house

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.

exterior arch lab

archdaily exterior

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.

exterior arch lab 2

lawn arch lab

archdaily exterior 2

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.

office arch lab

The interior includes a living room, dining room, library, office, and a small mezzanine where the ensuite bedrooms are located.

hallway arch lab bedroom arch lab

bedroom arch lab 2

bath arch lab

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.”

barn house

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.

Exterior yatzer 3

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.

Exterior yatzer 2

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.

Exterior yatzer

A daytime shot… (from remodelista)

belgian-greenhouse-daytime 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.

remodelista verdickt-detail floor

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.

kitchen yatzer

remodelista verdickt-staircase dining yatzer

remodelista belgian-greenhouse-cantilevered-counter

remodelista belgian-greenhouse-countertop

That’s a revolving fireplace!!

interior yatzer

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.

bed yatzer

remodelista belgian-greenhouse-bath


Marc Corbiau, a Belgian architect who graduated in June 1966 from l’Institut d’Architecture, Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium, designed this modern concrete home.

exterior adelto exterior adelto 2exterior adelto 3 pool adelto hall adelto living adelto living adelto 2 dining adelto walls adelto 1 walls adelto 2


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.

exterior kemp

exterior kemp 2

parallelogram-house-2 trendir


parallelogram-house-3 trendir

The client wanted an open concept home. The entrance area is integrated into the kitchen and living room, and there are no enclosed hallways.

dining kemp

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.

parallelogram-house-5 trendir bedroom kemp

This floating staircase freaks me out. I seriously don’t think I could handle going up and down these stairs…

stairs kemp

parallelogram-house-8 stairs trendir

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??

sig new


Barn House from Architecture Lab

Greenhouse from Yatzer and Remodelista

Uccle from Adelto

House Kempeneers from House Design News and Trendir


Dumbwit Tellher said...

One structure got better than the next. My favorite has to be the 'Greenhouse'. Would love to recreate that in San Diego. The 'Uccle' house however appeals more to the homey factor. Not as utilitarian' as the Greenhouse. Leave it to those Belgian's. All are incredibly stunning architecture. Thanks Kelly for sharing, I loved this post. x

puna said...

Wow, who would have thought it? I love the barn. Though I'm more contemporary now, I still like the traditional warmth better.

Christy said...

I totally love these houses and could definitely see myself living there with my own eclectic style. The one with the two lane lap pool sang to me! love it!

Kat said...

These are wonderful Kelly. I especially love the barn house, I love the blend of the old and new. It fits so perfectly into the landscape. But that lap pool puts the concrete house into serious contention. Yet another reason to love Belgium (other than righteous waffles!) Kathy

Diane Schuller said...

That barn home is really unique and quite a surprise when seen from inside or at either end. Not keen on her kitchen but I sure did like the rest of the contemporary space.

Verdigris Vie said...

These are amazing ! But you know it's more than just the design, it's the lifestyle. This would never work for my family. The barn is by far my fave. The Aesthetic is superb, I would likely outfit with a classic interior - it sure would be fun to work on.

Sorry I missed your birthday BTW - Hope it's the best year yet !

Maria Killam said...

It's a bit too extreme for me, I prefer the warmer, Restoration Hardware look myself!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

That barn house is TOO COOL. Love it. What a fun post!

Janis@ White Alder[Home] said...

Yup I'd have to agree the Barn House was my favourite too!! What a beautiful setting......I could get use to waking up to that view very easily.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Gayle said...

I like the barn, but not really the others. They feel too cold to me.

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