Designers such as Paul Dupré-Lafon, Emile Ruhlmann, Jean-Michel Frank, or Jean Dunand employed a totalitarian approach that could be applied on any scale: from doorknobs to room dividers, from furniture to complete homes. Sestig’s architecture, too, illustrates his ideas about geometry, proportions, and materialisations at both the micro and macro levels. In this building the architect completely discarded the original distribution. Instead of having a succession of separate rooms, he delineated the functional areas using material-based transitions. The circulation areas are clad with dark natural stone, and the landing zones -living room, dressing room, bedroom- have floors in tadelakt, which looks somewhat like a luxury rug.
The house is relatively small, but Sestig’s strategically placed low mirror planes and lighted cabinet walls create extra depth. Columns, walking lines, and sight lines determine the flow in this building. Sliding doors in dark-tinted elm add a mysterious flair to the volumes. The monumental staircase, one of Sestig’s favourite themes, is conceived like a sculptural stack of natural stone blocks. It functions like a sort of vertical catwalk, its mirror walls subtly announcing the first floor. Like a fashion designer, Sestig dressed this cosmopolitan home, interpreting architecture like a kind of form-based haute couture, with contrasts between open and closed, subdued and pronounced, glossy and brute, minimalist and glamorous.
On paper this was a dream project for Graux & Baeyens Architects: a single-family home on an idyllic plot of land on the bank of the river Lys.