Something of a time capsule, this amazing 1970s E. Spiessens modern house in Duffel, Belgium is up for sale.
Dating back to the early 1970s, this house is pretty much in the same condition now as it was when first constructed. Carefully maintained and barely updated, this is the kind of time capsule we all dream about owning.
Why? Well, everything is pretty much as the architect and client stipulated. That architect was E. Spiessens, which designed this house by taking inspiration from Californian modernism of the 1960s. Right down to the outdoor pool area.
Is it a first time on the market? I’m not sure, but the agent points out that the house has been ‘perfectly preserved in its original state’ including ‘all original features’. I’ve looked and I’m struggling to see anything of substance that has been updated here in something like 50 years.
Ok, there’s a modern TV here, perhaps a cupboard or two have been updated and maybe a duvet cover, but that’s the kind of detail you are looking at. The majority of the furniture, even the artwork and the light fittings look like they have been in place for those five decades.
As for the architecture, this is bold and angular modernism if the day, with white-painted exterior walls, a brick base and heavy glazing to take advantage of the scenery and to break down that ‘outside/inside’ barrier. Balconies too if you want to feel the air as you check out the gardens.
In terms of the interior, it’s everything you would expect of a house of this age and this quality. Open-plan living, exposed brick, natural stone floors, wood ceilings, full-height glazing, an original staircase, premium finishes and more than a bit of drama here and there. As I said, Californian modernism transported to Belgium, but with a European influence also sneaking into the mix.
The statement entrance users the scene. Access that and you get into the main reception, which is a stunner. Most of the features mentioned above are present, along with the statement fireplace and a lovely mix of modern (at the time) and vintage furnishings. Love that light fitting too.
It leads to a terrace, which in turn leads to a second terrace and a view of the pool. Yes, you are just a short skip to your swimming pool if the weather is on your side.
As you can see, the original kitchen is still in place, complete with all the original cupboards, tiling and fittings. Always something to treasure. From there you can access the dining room.
Beyond the main reception is the sleeping area, made up of three bedrooms. To be honest, all fairly plain, but a blank canvas to do something with. Finally, one of the stars of this particular show, that wonderful green and white bathroom. I’ve no idea how practical that is in the 21st century, but I would be looking at preserving the look if possible.
That isn’t quite all as this one also has a garage area (which looks to be large and tucked under the main house) as well as substantial gardens. Note that beyond your garden is an area of fields, ‘unspoilt nature’ and mature trees. I mentioned the pool, but it’s worth mentioning again as I don’t see many of them in modern houses in Belgium. That should be fun at the height of summer.
If you want it, the house is now up for sale for around €595,000.
Images and details courtesy of Architecten Woning. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.
Writing this reminded me that I really need to update my top 10 most popular modernist houses in Belgium round-up. But do check out the current listing if you have time.