françois martens + edouard brunet architects transform terraced house in brussels françois martens + edouard brunet architects transform terraced house in brussels
nov 24, 2015

françois martens + edouard brunet architects transform terraced house in brussels

françois martens + edouard brunet architects transform terraced house in brussels
all images © dennis de smet

 

 

 

architects françois martens and edouard brunet teamed up for the renovation of a typical terraced house found in brussels. the project was commissioned by the owner of a five-floor building who decided to split his dwelling into two apartments after his children grew up and left. the renovation consisted in turning the existing single family terraced residence into a building of two separate flats, that although seemed like a relatively small project, was very ambitious.

francois martens edouard brunett
the new cantilevered space is purposely and visibly contemporary

 

 

 

the two architects suggested using the upper flat’s space as the living area on the top floor of the house, as to limit the nuisances between neighbors, but also to benefit from the light and open views that this floor offers. because of the limited total surface area of each floor and the top floor being set up in the attic, they decided to tear down the rear part of the roof. this allowed them to build a terrace and a new cantilevered space right where the former staircase was — installing a new one in the center of the building.

francois martens edouard brunet
the new setting allowed to upgrade the living area giving it direct access to the terrace and more daylight

 

 

 

this setting allowed to upgrade the living area, giving it direct access to the terrace and more daylight reaching further into the flat. the new kitchen was enhanced with an open view to the back gardens and yards, as well as to the sky and brussel’s skyline. the creation of the terrace, apart from providing an intimate outdoor area, also adds a new element to the south façade that looks towards the south, letting more natural into the house.

francois martens edouard brunet
all necessary functions for the new flat are organized in one single piece of furniture set

 

 

 

the lower part of the house saw minor changes which consisted of wood and iron fitting works. to make the flats independent, a new suspended staircase was drawn and designed alongside the craftsperson who manufactured it. the bathroom was also entirely redesigned. the combination of bamboo and iron gives this part of the house a unique atmosphere.

francois martens edouard brunet
direct views on neighboring houses were avoided, and distances and alignments were respected

 

 

 

the new cantilevered space’s style is purposely and visibly contemporary, as well as uncluttered to distinguish it from the existing building: the city becomes the expression of various periods, such as a palimpsest would be. this project is the first collaboration between the two architects and it is the best example of their great attention to details, as well as their constant search for clever solutions. regardless of the limited budget, they had their aim clear — that of creating spaces that offer light, city views and use noble materials.

francois martens edouard brunet
the new kitchen has an open view to the back gardens and yards, and to brussels’ skyline

francois martens edouard brunet
floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of the city

francois martens edouard brunet
birchwood was chosen for the furniture and creates a warm atmosphere throughout the entire apartment

francois martens edouard brunet
a staircase was added 

francois martens edouard brunet
the mezzanine was suspended, to allow the overall attic volume to be seen

francois martens edouard brunet
a suspended staircase was drawn and designed alongside the craftsperson who manufactured it

francois martens edouard brunet
the combination of bamboo and iron gives this part of the house a unique atmosphere

 

 

project info:

 

location: schaerbeek, brussels – belgium
year of construction: 2015
surface area: approx. 225m²

architects: françois martens and edouard brunet – temporary association
general construction company: renodav-seb sprl (witold szklarzewski)
outside woodwork: ecovitre sprl (karol duchnowski)
ironwork (suspended iron staircase): esprit de fer (luc van massenhove)
stability engineer: jacques dufour ing.

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: juliana neira | designboom

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