Contracting business: ALX Construct
Carpentry: Mus & Puccini
Architects: Edouard Brunet Architecte
Structural engineering: Neuf81
Location: Forest/Vorst, Brüssel (BE)
Before Edouard Brunet tackled it, the house in the Brussels suburb of Forest was small, dark and nondescript. Now it is a spaciously proportioned multigenerational building containing two living units. The ground-level one opens out onto the backyard while the second unit, situated on the two upper storeys, has views of the varied built-up surroundings with houses on the one side and industrial works on the other. The entrance side facing a busy street has remained practically unchanged for budgetary and coronavirus reasons; the yard façades, however, have changed all the more. On the ground floor wood-framed corner sliding doors open up the interior to the outside, where Brunet had an existing annex removed but retained a second and much longer one at the boundary of the plot. Rooms are connected along the façade in enfilade-like fashion. The floor-to-ceiling windows, set flush with the white rendered walls, come with broad frames in afzelia, a tropical hardwood.
Light-coloured plaster and plenty of wood also characterise the rooms in the upper living unit, where the staircase forms the central element, featuring a stairwell that opens up in hall-like fashion as it rises the two storeys to the roof, where daylight enters through a flat roof window. A small window that had previously opened to the outside is now an indoor one and provides visual contact between the staircase and living space. On the ground floor Edouard Brunet exposed the existing wooden beams ceiling for a greater impression of height. The upper floors have new ceilings with beams running in different directions according to storey, thus altering the rooms’ orientation in a subliminal way.