In the 60s the green belt around Antwerp was the place for architectural experimentation, several interesting villas were built in this wooded area. Our client bought one of those early architectural gems. Although in state of decay, the strength of the original design shimmered through the thick, overgrown greenery upon our first visit.
Unfortunately, when inspecting the original structure, the building was too far gone to renovate it to today’s standards. In addition, the shift in functionality of our homes in general, working from home, a busy family life etc, led to an increase of the original sqm’s. With that in mind a rebuild of the house with strong respect for its original architectural qualities was the better option. ( a resto-mod, an evolution in spirit, an ode to the 60s design)
At first glance, randomly positioned concrete walls define the interior-exterior spaces and functions. Their variation in height and orientation allows to fullfill serval functions: bearing, privacy, chimney, sunscreen, paravent, storage, garden wall, etc. The ground floor is designed to be future proof, incorporating all necessary functions in a loft like space, visually separated by the positioning of the concrete walls. The most noise-sensitive spaces are situated on the edges of the building but with an non-obstructed daily flow. The children’s bedrooms are located on the roof, this first floor is formed by a mirrored box which disappears due to the reflection of the forest, allowing the villa to maintain its slick horizontal bungalow-like appearance. The elongation is emphasized by to the floor-to-ceilingsliding windows under the cantilevered roof, with concrete floors flowing from the interior to the exterior terraces. The visual and spacial interactions between garden, concrete, glass and the reflections of the mirrored volume give the building its timeless appearance and form an ode to the strenght of the original design.