Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
BC House in Leuven, Belgium by Vander Velpen Architects
August 25th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Vander Velpen Architects
Dieter Vander Velpen Architects remodelled a 70’s house near the Belgian town of Leuven, to create a new kitchen and bathroom for the owners, with clean lines but a warm material palette including bronze, Walnut veneer, Travertine and Calacatta marble.
The Antwerp based architecture firm was asked by the client to create an open, bright kitchen with plenty of workspace and a clutterless look. For the bathroom, the main request was to create a luxurious and calming atmosphere on a limited surface.
In the kitchen, the architects went for a rectilinear approach, with three different volumes, positioned parallel to each other: a functional cupboard wall with a large cooking niche, the kitchen island in the middle, and a cupboard/library wall on the opposite side. The cooking niche is conceptualised as a black ‘cutout’ from the cupboard wall, featuring a cooking top in polished granite and a back splash in rough, hammered granite. The kitchen fan is integrated in the cupboards, as are all the other appliances, creating a very calm image.
On the floor, big tiles of Pietra dei Medici stone, a cross-cut Travertine, are aligned with the island and the cupboards to create a very calm base. The eye-catcher in the kitchen is the large island in the middle, where 5 different materials come together in a sculptural volume: black Zimbabwe granite, dark stained Walnut veneer, polished Calacatta marble, patinated bronze and the black lacquered Vola taps. The result is a very graphic composition.
The dining table plays a more humble role, but was also custom designed by the architects. A solid Oak tabletop is perched on a custom made frame, lasercutted from 1cm thick black steel. The table is complemented by the timeless ‘Wishbone’ chairs, designed in 1949 by Danish designer Hans J. Wegner.
In the bathroom, a classic vein-cut Travertine stone takes the lead, cladding the walls of the shower (in large custom-cut slabs), as well as creating a plinth along the walls, aligned with the top of the sink. The sink itself is also completely cut from Travertine, incorporating even a stone sink hole detail. The material palette of the kitchen is continued in the bathroom in the Walnut veneer cabinetry and the black taps by Dornbracht. Mirror cabinets provide additional storage and conceal indirect LED lighting. Above the 90cm line of the sink, the walls are covered in white Mortex, a cement-like, waterproof finish. In the cupboard door handles, the architects introduced another bronze accent. The space for the walk-in shower was carved out of an adjoining room, to create the necesarry space.
The combination of a timeless material palette with strong, pure lines, creates a look of ‘understated luxury’, a trademark of the Belgium-based firm.
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