Description by Vincent Van Duysen Architects:
The house is crucial in the entire story. It’s a private House where – on the top floor – a family lives, but at the same time it has several public functions that we wanted to bring together in the same floor. We didn’t go for spectacular architecture, on the contrary.”
Graanmarkt 13 is created as a welcoming and warm home, where everyone should feel at ease, with a restaurant, a shop, a gallery space and an apartment all under one roof. The remarkable concept occupies an entire townhouse in the center of Antwerp, with the traditional building being reworked by Vincent Van Duysen, one of Belgian’s best architects. In the past years owners Tim Van Geloven and Ilse Cornelissens turned Graanmarkt 13 into a household name, but wisely kept one secret to themselves. The initial idea was also to include a bed & breakfast on the top floors. But plans changed when Tim & Ilse saw the plans developing and decided to turn all available space into one luxurious apartment. Described as ’their best kept secret’, the apartment is now available for rent.
STYLISH HOME AWAY FROM HOME
When entering the duplex apartment, you feel at home, a stylish home that is. Apart from the protected historic facade, Van Duysen’s signature style of brutalism, softened by natural materials, runs like a red thread throughout the building. Tim & Ilse used two floors as their private quarters and although they are gone, you can sense their presence in the smallest details. „We just packed our clothes and left”, Ilse argues. When she and Tim started their project, they both wanted to be on top of it, literally. But the project has grown, so have their children and now the family is moving into a family home with a garden. Tim adds: „I’m going to miss the terrace and the panoramic view on the city. And although you’re at the heart of the city, it’s very calm, green and quiet out here.” Graanmarkt 13 is located in the middle of the city, on a picturesque square where trees reveal the passing of the seasons. At the back of a building there’s an old ginkgo tree overlooking the rooftop garden and beehives, providing herbs and honey that chef Seppe Nobels uses in his dishes in the restaurant, which is located in the cellar.
Design Office: Vincent Van Duysen Architects
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Photographs: Frederik Vercruysse