The owners of this rather lovely old house in Brussels, Belgium, wanted easier access and better views to their beautiful back garden, and needed to update key interior bathroom and kitchen spaces. In a single architectural stroke, this wrapping home addition by EXAR Architecture (images by Marc Detiffe) adds contemporary functions and lovely contrast to the existing structure.
The effect is surprisingly understated from the street, preserving the historic facade for pedestrians and neighbors, but adding a dynamic, almost-secret and highly-functional component to the back of the building.
Big modern windows with black trim, topped with rusted steel, play off of existing brick and stucco exterior, twisting to enclose the cleanly-revamped upper level (bathroom) and open up the freshly-renovated lower one (kitchen).
More from the architects
“By developing a language in counterpoint to the existing style, we wanted to reinforce the coexistence between the modern and the old. Steel by its smoothness and its neatness makes it possible to create pure lines and movements of plans. The layout of the bathroom, the kitchen and the dining room are maintained but largely open to the garden, offering wide framed views of the interior of the very vegetal island.”
“EXAR architecture studies a limited number of projects to ensure a complete and tailor-made follow-up. The desire to provide individual responses to each project makes it possible to transcend constraints and offer a unique and poetic personality. Our field of intervention, from structural work to works of art, reflects this approach. With this in mind, we have set up a team with different and complementary qualities (architectural, technical, and decorative) which allows us to strive for more coherence and harmony.”
“Whether in the context of promotions with a studied budget, high-end projects (with choice of furniture and works of art), the upgrading of buildings to specific projects, our approach is part of the active support of our customers. The diversity of projects is essential to the vitality of EXAR.”