Graanmarkt 13, with only its neoclassical facade retained, houses a new concept store-gallery, restaurant and rental apartment.
Graanmarkt 13 appears to be a real home from exterior, with a white façade, three floors, a coach door and no displays in the windows. It evokes an atmosphere of a period house from the 18th century. The reconversion of the building maintained a “homely” and quite atmosphere which is consistently present throughout the whole project.
The front facade was well preserved, therefore the authenticity of the interior was defined through using materials that are noble, classical yet contemporary. Respecting the architectural qualities of the building; raw, tactile and sustainable elements such as wood, metal, hammered glass and concrete were introduced. The lighting throughout is entirely custom designed and made.
The back façade was radically stripped down, a new rhythm of the floor levels was inserted and most importantly a grand staircase in exposed concrete creates a new vertical connection between floors. The influx of natural light through large windows hits the sensual materiality to the interior spaces and creates a calm and open environment.
The Restaurant in the basement is simply an extension of the marketplace and looks out onto
a small courtyard with its sole tree of happiness soaring up towards the floors above. The focal point of the design was to bring the garden and the square into the space. This was achieved by placing benches, similar to those outside, green bistro chairs and the flower- lamps around the two structural pillars. The space results in a dynamic, poetic expression; while the architecture remains very contemplative.
On the Ground Floor is a concept store, displaying high end fashion, accessories and furniture. Custom designed matte black fixtures contrasts against the bones textured plaster walls. A circular heavy linen draped fitting room is visible upon entry which adds another textural layer to the space.
The Upper Levels features an apartment, originally a home for the owners, now a luxurious rental apartment. A living room with a row of panoramic windows towards the large terrace has views of treetops and the city. The open plan space, organized around the fireplace is directly connected with an open kitchen and dining. In the rear of the apartment fits a small garden with an old ginko tree, a vegetable garden and a series of hives.
Corriere della Serra - Living
Koen Van Damme