Architect: AHA – Aurélie Hachez Architecte
Typology: Apartment renovation
Construction Date: 2018
Photos by: Delphine Mathy and Piotr Niepsuj
This project wishes to revive the special qualities of the existing apartment listed in the Brussels architectural heritage register while offering a living space that suits the client’s ambition. The building was built in 1946 by Lucien de Vestel, architect of the Berlaymont, based on the principle of a concrete beams and columns structure. The original structure as well as a refined research in archival documents are the starting point to the project.
The first intervention was to demolish the walls of the entrance hall located in the heart of the apartment to integrate it to the living spaces by giving it a new function. Conceived as an integrated piece of furniture with sliding doors and a guillotine for the secretary desk, the new study opens on the living room. The original location of these spaces is subtly kept apparent by the different materiality given to ceilings and existing beams. For the desk, an oak veneer has been chosen in dialogue with the existing concrete slab of the entrance hall revealed by the early demolishing.
The second intervention was to open the walls separating the kitchen and the entrance hall in order to bring more light from the west inside the living spaces, A glazed door frame with a 180 degrees opening materializes the original articulation. In the main interior elevation of the living room, two niches are centre on a new chimney, A 40 cm tablet adopts the curve of the façade and recreates the original cosy corner designed with a platform. The bathroom, toilet and kitchen are kept in the core of the apartment and the bedrooms towards the inner courtyard keeping their original location and proportions.