slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium

atelier vens vanbelle transforms a former pub into a home

 

Amidst a popular district in Ghent, Belgium, Atelier Vens Vanbelle renovates a historic slaughterhouse café and transforms it into a sunlit multi-level residence while preserving its heritage. The clients, Miel and Eline, who inspired the name for the project, embarked on an interesting journey when they purchased the original structure, which included a house, a pub, and a stable. Formerly a stop for local farmers, the property held memories of weekly cattle markets and lively evenings at the adjacent café, one of the twenty other so-called slaughterhouse cafés in what was considered one of the roughest neighborhoods in Ghent, 30 years ago. 

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium
all images by Tim Van de Velde, courtesy of Atelier Vens Vanbelle

 

 

reimagining the past with a modern twist

 

The original house, in disrepair and with an impractical layout, demanded a drastic change. Opting for a rebuild rather than a renovation, the architects faced the challenge of integrating the former stable’s atmosphere into the new design. By replicating the old oak beams and maintaining a sense of continuity, the house by Atelier Vens Vanbelle blends past and present, defying its status as a new construction. Deliberately understated facades conceal a surprisingly modern interior. From geothermal heating to thoughtful design touches like a cat flap and strategically placed sockets, every detail reflects the residents’ desires. Split-level construction maximizes space and light, with oak beams and a central staircase adding character without overwhelming the space. 

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium
the tranquil garden seamlessly blends with the renovated stable

 

 

a fusion of indoor and outdoor living

 

Atelier Vens Vanbelle chose to split levels to maximize space and natural light while maintaining a compact footprint, allowing sunlight to permeate from the front facade to the back. Eight half-storeys connect the front door to the children’s room mezzanine, with a central staircase surrounded by oak beams providing a spatially engaging experience and abundant views. The design ensures natural light and views from every angle, creating a sense of spaciousness and connectivity between floors. Consistent use of materials like oak, steel, and concrete promotes tranquility throughout, while thoughtful touches like a slightly elevated kitchen work area, a reminiscent touch of the pub, offer functionality with a view of the garden and the old stable. The house’s design prioritizes connection with nature, with sunlight streaming through transparent roofing in the renovated stable, which was achieved by replacing the old roof covering with transparent corrugated sheets. The renovated stable, now a bright and versatile space, seamlessly integrates with the garden, providing a peaceful retreat amidst the urban bustle of Ghent. 

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium
the choice of color and materials provides the desired tranquility

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium
the transparent corrugated sheets placed on the stable roof allow the light to create fascinating shadowplay

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium
the renovated stable accommodates a workspace where Miel maintains his motorcycles

atelier-vens-vanbelle-slaughterhouse-cafe-residence-belgium-designboom-1800-02

the design of the facades was decided to be minimal and simple

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium
the design ensures natural light and views from every angle

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium
the kitchen’s working area is slightly elevated , so you can sit at the bar as you once did in the pub

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium
the garden and stable view from the kitchen

atelier-vens-vanbelle-slaughterhouse-cafe-residence-belgium-designboom-1800-03

the renovated stable’s seating area

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium
the oak beams surrounding the staircase pay homage to the stable’s roof construction

slaughterhouse café turns into sunlit multi-level residence by atelier vens vanbelle in belgium
natural light can be seen and felt from every room in the residence

 

 

1/7
the building houses all of  the residents' needs
the building houses all of the residents' needs
split-level construction maximizes space and light
split-level construction maximizes space and light
materials like oak, steel, and concrete promote tranquility throughout the project
materials like oak, steel, and concrete promote tranquility throughout the project
deliberately understated facades conceal a surprisingly modern interior
deliberately understated facades conceal a surprisingly modern interior
the kitchen offers a view to the garden and the stable
the kitchen offers a view to the garden and the stable
the space feels like an extension of the garden
the space feels like an extension of the garden
eight half-storeys connect the front door to the children's room mezzanine
eight half-storeys connect the front door to the children's room mezzanine

project info:

 

name: MIEL & ELINE
architect: ATELIER VENS VANBELLE | @ateliervensvanbelle 
location: Ghent, Belgium
photography: Tim Van de Velde | @tvdvphotography

 

 

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: thomai tsimpou | designboom

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