Apartment silo

  • Arjaan De Feyter
  • Silvered Ash
  • Travertino grigio
  • Concrete
How do you make a silo habitable? How do you make round rooms homely? How do you make industrial architecture luxurious? And on top of everything, without committing character assassination? A unique opportunity for interior architect Arjaan De Feyter. Even before De Feyter’s renovation, the shell flat in Axel Vervoordt’s grain-silo complex along the Albert Canal in Wijnegem looked spectacular in all its concrete simplicity: a suite made up of round spaces connected by short corridors. De Feyter preserved, as much as possible, this unique spatial experience. Yet, by choosing the right materials and sight lines he still managed to instil new life into these awkward volumes.

The arena, the hut, the dome ... The circle is a fascinating starting point, an archetype of architecture that radiates timeless serenity. Which is what De Feyter was aiming for here. He opted for a delicate palette of browns and greys in materials that are both robust and luxurious. Texture and patina play first fiddle here. In the kitchen and bathroom we encounter travertino grigio with all its subtly glittering craters. The walls were given a layer of mineral plaster, a visual reminder of the coarse concrete facade. Much smoother is the tadelakt floor, a nod to the female owner’s Moroccan roots. As for the unique silvered tint, De Feyter obtained it by having all custom-made ash-wood elements hand-coloured with iron-gall ink. This just goes to show how far De Feyter takes his crafty details.

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He also clearly had a hand in the silos’ new flow. He cleverly maintained the bedroom and living room’s circular forms, using a wall made of cabinets in the former and a linen curtain in the latter as visual room dividers. The elements not only add privacy but also theatricality to a flat where everyday life takes on an almost museum-like air. In other words: thanks to Arjaan De Feyter, we can now actually live inside a sculpture.

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