This 3rd floor loft apartment in a former spices and rubber storehouse was VVD’s home in Antwerpen when he first set up practice after years of working abroad. It has formed a fertile background for experiments in creating his trademark meditative and sensual atmosphere, researching materials and details, and has also been the stage for his own furniture designs.
The layout of the original apartment is slung around an internal lightwell, that has 3 glazed sides from which to borrow light. Another unusual feature is the long and narrow living room, of which 2 walls have generous astragal windows onto an unexciting urban fabric.
The original plan, although quite divided up into proper rooms, retains a certain flow , as most rooms have internal glazed screens and uninterrupted views into adjacent spaces. A little lightwell at the back of the plan provides fresh air and light whenever required and again ties the space together between the party walls.
These original elements have been left untouched by the architect, who has simply sought to enhance them by carefully selecting methods of screening unwanted views and retaining privacy. The existing wooden floors were sanded and left unfinished, the parquet and mosaic floors restored, walls coloured with a very limited warm pallet. In addition to this, the carefully selected rugs, textiles, objets trouvés and pieces of furniture create a language that belongs completely to VVD. Over the years this language has become slightly more refined perhaps, the furniture has become more taut and geometric, but always stayed true to the essential qualities of a home for living in; to create a feeling of warmth, light and wellbeing.
Giorgio PossentiMartyn Thompson