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Renovation of a Row House in Antwerp by Bovenbouw Architectuur

Renovation of a Row House in Antwerp by Bovenbouw Architectuur

Architect: Bovenbouw Architectuur
Design team: Dirk Somers, William Burgess and Merijn Muller
Location: Antwerp
Year: 2018 – 2019
Client: Rika Devos and Sebastiaan Vansteenberghe
Photography: Filip Dujardin

The extension and alteration of a 4-storey townhouse for a family in Antwerp. The house is on a street of 19th century town houses near the Sint-Willibrorduskerk in Antwerp.

By removing the wall supporting the stairs a larger hallway is created allowing more daylight to enter the house. The kitchen has been moved from the back of the house to the centre and is visible from the hallway through internal glazing. At the rear of the house a new garden room is made with a draped timber roof creating a light and elegant domestic atmosphere.

On the first floor the room to the rear of the house is opened up to the staircase changing the spatial experience of ascending the stairs and a timber screen hides small rooms behind it. A new bathroom is made around a curved tiled wall on the second floor of the house.

The house’s original 19th century interior would have once been given character from the figurative gesture of the chimney. In the house on Lovelingstraat the only remaining chimneys are in the front rooms on the street side. Now the missing figuration of the interiors are restored by constructing new figurative elements: the plaster wainscoting, the oak studwork wall, the steel truss, the I-beam, the folded timber screen and the curved tiled wall.

Familiar materials are used for these elements with a finish to add specificity or to bring a material closer to a domestic atmosphere. The colours chosen are to be seen together as one moves through the house, as one figure in front of another. The dark blue wainscoting in the foreground, the deep red oak studwork as middle ground and the Sulphur yellow truss in the background.