Notariaat / Atelier Vens Vanbelle


Architects: Atelier Vens Vanbelle
Location: Horebeke,
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Atelier Vens Vanbelle

The building site is situated at the end of a small street in the small village of Horebeke in the Flemish Ardennes, next to a restaurant. The view from the site is splendid: the landscape slopes slowly and offers an overview to an untouched agricultural area spread over two kilometers.

© Atelier Vens Vanbelle

This kind of impressive landscapes asks for discrete admiration, just like the design assignment itself. A notary must be a building that establishes itself in a neutral way and it should be accessible for each type of visitor. We believe building in a landscape like this asks for the same kind of neutrality.

© Atelier Vens Vanbelle
© Atelier Vens Vanbelle

This was translated in a rough brick volume which is semi-closed to the street side and the restaurant. The entrance to the building is marked by a white volume made of steel plates. Walking through this white volume, the visitor enters a corridor looking out over a patio on the right side. On the left side the corridor bends to the waiting room which opens cone-shaped to the landscape. The kitchen and the offices open in a similar way to the outside. The peaceful landscape is framed through the windows like colourful paintings in the white interior.

© Atelier Vens Vanbelle

The back of the building cantilevers over the sloping terrain. The staff can park under the building and the cars form no visual obstruction from within the building.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Notariaat / Atelier Vens Vanbelle" 11 Jul 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • jm

    brutally unattractive

    • Jubair Siddeeque

      What do you mean? This is Classic, Exemplary. Can you detail Your comment a little bit further?

    • Adam Toth

      I couldn’t agree more. It doesn’t do the landscape any favours at all.

  • jed_

    utterly exquisite (apart from the circular skylights which i could do without)

  • @fariatomas


  • Daniel

    Wonderful. I love the simplicity of the shape and I love the oversized windows. I dont think it is ugly, I think it is wonderfully designed and I think it sits well in the open landscape.