Single-family home, Antwerp, 2019
The transformation of a 19th century house for a new blended family in Berchem-Antwerp
One of the main qualities of the historical row-house lies in the open un-built space at the back: its courtyard. In time, due to extensions, verandas and hidden built-in cupboards, the courtyard was disjointed from the sequence of tall spaces succeeding each other in an enfilade from the front and all the way to the back of the imposing bourgeois house. The single-family house is being adapted to an open living space and kitchen, re-connected with the garden on the ground floor. On the first floor, the parents' rooms receive a sunny terrace and a dressing room while the spacious attic is occupied by the separate studios of the children. The old ceramic floors and the staircase are carefully restored and partially integrated in the new floors. The old impressive ceiling moldings in the living areas are restored. By smartly cutting light slits and openings in strategic places, the house gains air, light and organized storage space. The bicycle shed in the stairwell bulges inside the residence in the shape of a library + working space. The functionality and the spatial experience of the house are enhanced by an acupuncture of interventions on walls, ceilings and floors.