The book Belgian Architects and Their Houses II displays the houses and vision of sixteen important Belgian architects. Below, we offer you a little preview with a sneak peek inside the house of Johannes Robbrecht and Tinne Verwerft.
We have been known to refer to our house as ‘een bommahuis’, which is Dutch for ‘your nan's house’. It was a rather old-fashioned looking house in what has always been the quintessential working-class neighbourhood of Ghent, Brugse Poort. It belonged to an elderly lady who owned the DIY store and wood storage next door for several decades. At first glance the house did not look that special. But it did offer several opportunities in terms of the space. It has three façades, the narrowest one is on the street side. The rear wing folds open to reveal a garden and the sun shines in throughout the day. And yet we would have never bought it if Johannes's parents had not chosen to move their firm, Robbrecht en Daem Architecten, into the warehouse next door. The cavernous open hall, with its covered courtyard and garden, gives you a sense of space. It is paradise for our three children, who love to play here. For Johannes, working next door has its benefits. Tinne actually never has to leave the house: Murmuur, the architect's firm, which she established with her associate Pieter Vanderhoydonck a few years ago, is partly located in the house.
Choosing doors and cabinets in multi-ply pine wood panels was easy. This material is quite unassuming and because we used it throughout the house the general impression is that of a sense of unity between the various spaces.
You can find the full text and photo reportage (ground plans included) in the book Belgian Architects and Their Houses II, which will be published end of October 2015.
Photography: Diane Hendrikx, production: Muriel Verbist, texts: Hadewijch Ceulemans