We are delighted to introduce you to an exceptional project in the heart of Brussels, a magnificent second home for a Singaporean couple of entrepreneurs. The mix of classic architectural lines and additional decorative elements with contemporary craftsmanship, detailing and finishes results in a space that is both structured and unpretentious. Architect Stef Claes once again managed to surprise Imagicasa with this project.
What were the main wishes of the client?
‘The project started as a pied-à-terre for a family that commuted between Belgium and Singapore. A place to come home to, to retreat to a city but also to entertain. The warm and welcoming character of this family had to have a place in the project.’
The warm and welcoming character of this family had to get a place in the project.
Where are the subtle nods to the owners' Oriental roots?
‘Initially, they were looking for a pied-à-terre in the capital of their native country. This allows them to enjoy the place on a more regular basis. Brussels is very much in line with their aspirations, the couple are very art and design-minded and have a big heart for friends and family. They love the outdoors as much as they love a place that is beautifully designed and where they can retreat. I also took their very human and simple approach to life into account in the design process - they really enjoy life. In short, very rewarding clients to work with. Furthermore, it is fantastic to learn to understand their family needs and to translate them into a spatial experience. Personally, I like to be in close contact with my clients and to offer them an answer to their dreams and needs, for now and for the future.’ What is the overall message you want to convey with this project?
‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes. But when the clients arrived at the delivery of the project, they were emotionally moved, that was really a very special moment. There were even tears of joy. The Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier spoke of L'architecture pour émouvoir, nothing so unique and beautiful as a space that can touch you. He was absolutely right about that. The nice thing is that the couple still occasionally let us know how much they like it in their flat. And then there is the ceiling in a grid structure, a design element that we talked about so much, weighed it up, questioned it and finally decided on it. And now that it is there, there is great love for this element. That is the beauty of the design process, letting it grow, discover, convince, assess and trust. To this day, it still puts a smile on my face when I think about how we got there. Want to know more about this project by Stef Claes? Read the full interview in Imagicasa Autumn 2021.
Photography by Eric Petschek