We regard renovations as exercises in empathy. In the renovation of the eclectic buildings in the Leysstraat in Antwerp, we used a lot of empathy to give a nineteenth-century building a second breath. Behind the flamboyant, eclectic façade, a whole series of uninteresting rooms were hidden. In the design, we try to eliminate the schizophrenia between a masterly façade and a meager interior. We adopt a formal strategy that, like the façade, is eclectic and accumulative. Room after room we define the potentials and the necessities associated with the refurbishment into apartments. What were once 3 historic buildings, we now renovate up to 2 apartments per layer. Surprising moments are hidden in all corners of the building. A shower under a bas-relief, a hidden door to the elevator, a paravent contains a shower. The materialization breathes an equal amount of empathy. Kitchens receive profiling or become aedicules. Arches and color accents contribute to the quality of each room.
3 historical buildings
Barbara Van Der Wee Architects
Surface area sqm
Principal: Dirk Somers Senior architect: Sander Laureys, Carole Boeckx, Wim Boesten Project architect: Gosia Olchowska, Henck Jan Imhoff, Sidse Hald, Christopher Permain