Acco Cafe, a home turned cafe In Iran with traditional desert architecture
by Afra SafaFeb 09, 2023
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Pooja Suresh HollannavarPublished on : Mar 25, 2023
The green belt around Antwerp has long played host to many villas. The Beli House in Kalmthout rests on the laurels of one such villa from the 60s. When Belgium-based Studio Okami was entrusted with the project, it was supposed to be a renovation of the original villa. However, a thorough examination of the structure revealed its inadequacy in housing a modern home, one that meets larger family and work-from-home needs. As a result, the studio decided to rebuild a new energy-efficient house, keeping the original character of the villa.
At first glance, the residential architecture appears to be a single-story structure. The first floor of the house is wrapped in reflective aluminium and disappears into its surrounding forest by mirroring it. Once comprehended, this becomes the most striking part of the façade. Seemingly a magnet to bird strikes, Studio Okami assures the presence of condensation for the majority of the day, thus avoiding such accidents. They also argue that mirrored surfaces are much less likely to cause such collisions when compared to glass facades.
"Mirrors are less prone to bird collisions compared to glass facades. While they may induce territorial behaviour in birds due to the full reflection, the likelihood of collisions is reduced in comparison to a glass facade that allows dept and fake perspective,” mentions Studio Okami in an official statement.
The mirrored façade presents the only questionable aspect in an otherwise well-thought-out material palette. The marble wall set along the entrance door acts as a visual focal point and adds a little grandeur to an otherwise contextual home.
“It is like a jewel, adding a touch of sophistication and elegance to the overall design. The marble wall not only adds visual interest, but also highlights the craftsmanship and attention to detail in the design. It is a striking and unforgettable feature that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit," says Studio Okami.
Inside the house, the walnut panelling in the kitchen echoes the surrounding woods to add warmth to open and airy space. The stone countertops against the warm wood add depth and serve the very functional purpose of being tough and durable.
The concrete walls are strategically used to create a fluid environment. These walls of varying heights and orientations serve multiple different functions of being a bearing wall, providing privacy, functioning as a chimney, offering sunscreen, serving as a paravent, providing storage, or serving as a garden wall.
Designed to keep in line with the changing needs of a modern home, the ground floor of the house with its largely open plan is 'future-proof'. Barring the primary bedroom and kitchen, it acts like a loft space that houses a home office, a living room, a dining room, a storage room, and a dining room. The spatial openness means the functions of the ground floor can handle change with little to architectural interventions.
The Beli House is very clearly a modern home with an architectural language that is rooted in the original villa from the 60s.
Location: Kalmthout, Belgium
Year of completion: 2022
Architect: Studio Okami Architects
by Zohra Khan Jun 05, 2023
In an ongoing exhibition titled London Calling, the Berlin-based architectural illustrator presents a series of drawings that allow the city to speak for itself.
by Dhwani Shanghvi Jun 03, 2023
The landscape and its accompanying architecture for the museum project is designed to be experienced as a walkthrough with serendipitous encounters with submerged masses.
by Almas Sadique May 31, 2023
The Chinese architect Xu Tiantian's works are on display at the Auditorium of Teatro dell’architettura Mendrisio as part of the Swiss Architectural Award 2022 exhibition.
by ABB May 31, 2023
Switzerland-based Burkhard Meyer Architekten BSA revitalised a 50-year-old sports centre by incorporating innovative design, interconnected facilities, and streamlined automation.
make your fridays matterSUBSCRIBE
Don't have an account?Sign Up
Or you can join with
Please select your profession for an enhanced experience.
Tap on things that interests you.
Select the Conversation Category you would like to watch
Please enter your details and click submit.
Enter the code sent to
What do you think?