As our readers are accustomed to, we always like to take the time to put new names in the spotlight. Today it's the turn of architect Emiel Vercruysse, who recently finished a beautiful project in Roeselare, West Flanders. The penthouse was completely renovated, taking the existing building as a guide.
After Emiel Vercruysse graduated as an architect from Sint-Lucas in Ghent, he started working for Vincent Van Duysen in 2016. In 2019, he moved to architectural firm Govaert & Vanhoutte, to start under his own name a year later. In July, together with a good friend, he finally started his own studio in Kortrijk.
For the architect, (interior) architecture is about two things: the client and the context. ‘It is up to the architect to bring these together in a project. I will always listen very carefully to the client, that way every project becomes very personal and unique.’ But the context should not be overlooked either, as the best projects are site-specific, Vercruysse believes. ‘In principle, a project should only be shown to its full advantage on its own specific construction site.’ And the interior, too, will always be central to the architect. He believes it is important to focus first on the layout and the interior experience, which have to be right, and then the architecture follows.
Now, we take you to Roeselare, where Vercruysse recently completed a penthouse near the Grote Markt. The flat dated from the 1960s and was completely stripped and renovated. The architect created a lot of openings in the interior, so that a loft feeling was created.
The choice of material stemmed from the existing building.
Large wooden volumes were placed in the interior, intended to accommodate all facilities and cupboards. The volumes create a certain 'mass' in the apartment, which is in stark contrast to the many little walls before. The material, coloured oak, also provides warmth and cosiness in the flat. Terrazzo was also used for the floors and countertops. This choice of material stemmed from the context, namely the existing building. The terrazzo was inspired by the exterior façade, which is made of washed-out concrete, and the colour of the wood is a reference to the dark carpentry in the building.
The palette of materials was continued in all rooms, creating a certain tranquillity. Many elements were also designed for the apartment, such as the dining table, coffee table, armchair and lighting element.
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Photography by Annelies Baerelle