Belgian architecture studio Hé! He converted an industrial building in Brussels on four floors Town Housestudio and co-working space, wood-framed deck addition extension Pale brickwork.
Part of a residential terrace in the Molenbeek district of Brussels, the workshop and warehouse, formerly used by a disinfectant company, have been abandoned for several years and need major structural restoration.
Across four floors, the new building – named Karper after Karperstraat, the street on which it is located – combines ground-floor co-working spaces with apartment spaces designed to be flexible.
It can be a single family home or divided into separate rentable studios.
“The structure and architecture are very simple and easy to understand… For me, an easy, low-tech build is very important,” he! co-founder Han Eckelmans told Dezeen.
“Easier to fix or adjust things for our non-architect clients, [and] She added that the detachable node of the structure allows it to be adapted or even dismantled and reused.
On the ground floor, there are two small co-working spaces alongside a pathway leading to a rear garden and a staircase leading to the apartment spaces.
The first floor is currently configured as a separate private flat, with a large living, dining and kitchen area to the front of the house and bedrooms to the rear.
A wooden staircase leads to the two-story apartment above, where the second-floor living area and third-floor kitchen and dining space all open onto small white-tiled roof terraces.
Following the proportions of the adjacent building, the new extension is finished with thin white brick buttresses, between which large windows flood the new living spaces with natural light.
With an emphasis on the use of natural and raw materials, the painted brick walls of the existing structure are complemented by new structural elements in timber, terracotta plaster, and slate-floored worktops and tables.
“In our architecture we build with renewable materials rather than petrochemical materials,” Eckelmans told Dezeen.
She added, “We not only use these materials because we believe they are better for the environment, but also because we love the local story behind these materials and their sentimental value.”
Based in Brussels, Hé! Founded in 2017 by Hanne Eckelmans and Renée Verhulst, it works in the field of architecture and interior design.
Elsewhere in Belgium, architecture studio BLAF has used reclaimed bricks Design of a house in Ghent with arched walls which wrap around a series of existing trees, and the architect created A2o House Be as “The experience of living in and among nature.”
Photography by Tim van de Velde.