There is a connection between this Frank Verplanken modernist house in Destelbergen, Belgium and one of our most popular finds of the past.
That connection is Juliaan Lampens. You might recall me featuring this Lampens-designed brutalist property in Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium a couple of years back. It was an Airbnb find, available to rent out for a limited number of weeks each year.
That house was described as ‘one of the most radical residences ever built in Belgium’ and was bequeathed to the University of Ghent on the owner’s death, maintained as a tribute to that original owner and the architect.
If you look at the stark, brutal finishes of that house, you might recognise something similar in this one. But in this case, it’s brick and wood rather than concrete and wood. However, the principles are much the same.
That’s because architect Frank Verplanken was taught by Juliaan Lampens whilst studying at Sint-Lucas Ghent and as the agent says, this had a major impact on his later work and particularly when it came to this build, which was his own home.
It’s actually later than you might think too. Despite the similarity to the Lampens house of the early 1970s, this one dates to the early 1990s. It’s also a house with its own distinct personality too.
Verplanken took the Lampens concept and mixed it with his own personal style and vision, one that was influenced by the work of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. Inspiration from Japanese and Scandinavian architecture is also present in the finished house too.
That house was built in land that was part of his parent’s house and integrated into the surrounding greenery. But a house like this can’t hide too much.
It’s a house all about the curves, from the post box outside through to the main house design and the arches within. The curves are the things that first catch your eye. But this isn’t just about a few curves. It’s all about the detail.
The wooden beams that span the entire house, the open-plan living space, the exposed brick finishes throughout, the double-height space, the grain on the (sustainable) oregon wood details that bring this house to life, the built-in furnishings designed by the architect, the sliding wood partitions, the numerous water features and that stunning industrial-style fireplace. You come for the exterior; you stay for the interior.
In fact, look closer and you spot the smaller touches too, such as the window shutters, the shelving and the door handles, for example. Every little thing here is carefully considered.
Note that pretty much everything here was design by the architect himself. Yes, the furniture and built-ins as you would expect, but perhaps you wouldn’t expect the architect to be so hands-on in designing the ceiling lights, sinks and even the toilet. As I said, every detail carefully thought out.
Space is all very open and you suspect, quite adaptable too. Of course, the bathroom and the kitchen are pretty much set in stone (or brick). But the rest is pretty much as you want it.
The downstairs space is bright and open with the aim of being a social area. A place to spend time with friends and family. Even the kitchen is integrated within the main hub of the house rather than being closed off. Plenty of functionality within it, but the kitchen is still very much in keeping with the rest of the house when it comes to look and feel.
Upstairs you get three bedrooms and the bathroom, all of which open onto a large and open office area, no doubt a home working space for the architect. I’m sure that could be adapted if you don’t work from home regularly, but if you do – what a space to do it in.
The house has around 234 sq. metres of living space within and sits in a plot covering 941 sq. metres. It isn’t a house for everyone, but if the brutal end of domestic architecture appeals, this is likely to be a house for you.
As for price, it is up for €695,000, which works out at around £622,000.
Images and details courtesy of Architecten Woning. For more details, more images and to make an enquiry about the house, please visit the website.