23 January 2014

On one of the prettiest avenues in Brussels, with pruned trees and a sweeping view towards a park, is a 1950s remodelling of a turn of the (previous) century house.

Drive-in on the ground floor, then three floors and an attic. The house suffers from what many houses in Brussels have to deal with: lots of stairs and lack of width.
Avenue Louis Bertrand in early January sun.
The house started of as a family house. In the fifties there seems to have been a landslide in the area and the house was partially demolished and remodelled into flats. Now it's for sale and I was asked to come up with ideas how to use the space. One of the problems mentioned by the clients was that they felt the floors were too separate, lacking unity.

Internal width 6.2 meters, depth 8.8 to play with.
You can't escape the stairs; but why not turn them 90 degrees? It would separate front from back, and if free-floating stairs and landings were installed, one could do something dramatic with the back wall (to the right of this section drawing, cutting through the building left to right). An industrial-style open staircase with a rough brick back wall would tie the different floors together.
I placed the kitchen centrally on the first floor (at the bottom of this drawing). In this set up, it would divide, together with the stairwell, the more formal front room from the back area with dining and lounging.
To make the stairs work as an 'experience', daylight has to come in: I propose windows on either side of the landing. This also allows some vision from front to back (view through the front window to the back).
Another section drawing: cutting through the house back to front. 

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