BE House

bruno vanbesien architects

This classic bourgeois house in a lively area of ​​Brussels was in need of a thorough revision to meet the needs and comfort of this young family. An aesthetic facade with many qualities, a decent layout and a rather chaotic rear facade were the given, more space and natural light were the demand. The result is an open extension in which the classical elements were energised by a number of contemporary interventions.

First and foremost, the readability of the living spaces was addressed. The now spacious living space consists of a succession of kitchen, dining room and living room, respectively from front to back, whereby the spaces are entered centrally. The living room was widened by one third of its initial size, now taking up the full width of the plot. The load-bearing wall and ceiling in plank-formwork concrete give the extension a distinct appearance as a strong addition to the mouldings of the original spaces. The new layout also allows more stretch for a large open plan kitchen at the front of the house. The central dining room receives light on both sides, partly due to the fully glazed rear facade. Concealed window frames and the use of a “retombé” also increase the sense of depth.

The first floor, being the master floor, is completely dedicated to the parents. Bedroom with terrace, spacious bathroom and desk are accurately detailed and finished in marble and wood. The children's floor retains its existing layout, but is expanded at the back with a terrace as cantilever.

The integrally renewed rear facade contrasts with its classic counterpart in front, but offers an extra nuance to the rough plank-formwork concrete and oak finishing inside. The exterior joinery, the cladding and the vertical lamella - all in wood - alternate in rhythm resulting in a differentiated facade image. A deeply studied detailing ensures a very fine delineation of the new volumes.

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