House DMV

  • De Meester Vliegen
  • Jul De Roover
  • Renaat Braem
  • Carrara venato
It's always exciting to discover why an architect didn't design a building from scratch but used an existing architects' house to his advantage. In the case of Tom De Meester and Tine Vliegen it is extra interesting because they showed a lot of respect for the ideas of Antwerp modernist Jul De Roover (1913–2010). There are not all that many buildings by De Roover left. But you immediately feel his international quality when you enter here. The house is a combination of Scandinavian influences with some Le Corbusier, Renaat Braem, and De Stijl thrown in, too.

Were Jul De Roover still alive, he would be able to move right in: De Meester and Vliegen left the original distribution of the rooms and functions completely intact. A long corridor still leads to the core of the house, a swirly spiral staircase servicing all the areas. By contemporary standards, their kitchen and bathroom are rather small, but De Roover’s architectural flow was so good that little intervention was needed. The house is a tighter fit architecturally now, for instance with the brass facade lamellas, the marble entrance, and the big landscape window in the television room. But no huge transformations took place here. The architects even used old pictures to have furniture made in modern style. Yet, their house is no vintage-filled nostalgic trip. They live in harmony with today's comfort and aesthetics, as evidenced by their sizable collection of contemporary art. If this modernist attached house proves one thing, it is that living in a contemporary and quality way can be a timeless idea.

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