Refurbishment of 3 Historical Buildings / Bovenbouw + Barbara Van Der Wee Architects

© Filip Dujardin

Refurbishment of 3 Historical Buildings / Bovenbouw + Barbara Van Der Wee Architects - More Images+ 33

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© Filip Dujardin

Text description provided by the architects. We regard renovations as exercises in empathy. In the renovation of the eclectic buildings in the Leysstraat in Antwerp, we used a lot of empathy to give a nineteenth century building a second breath. Behind the flamboyant, eclectic façade, a whole series of uninteresting rooms were hidden. In the design we try to eliminate the schizophrenia between a masterly façade and a meager interior.

© Filip Dujardin

We adopt a formal strategy that, like the façade, is eclectic and accumulative. Room after room we define the potentials and the necessities associated with the refurbishment into apartments.


An essential spatial component are the breakthroughs. What were once 3 historic buildings, we now renovate up to 2 apartments per layer. We dramatize the breakthroughs through the party walls. Along the chimney, through the chimney or on the mantelpiece, there are perforations that create a new route and connect the room structure.

© Filip Dujardin

Double circulations, steps and deep perspectives contribute to the spaciousness of the circulation. Some openings are cut out of the corner.

© Filip Dujardin
© Filip Dujardin

Surprising moments are hidden in all corners of the building. A shower under a bas-relief, a hidden door to the elevator, a paravent contains a shower.

© Filip Dujardin

The materialization breathes an equal amount of empathy. Kitchens receive profiling or become aedicules. Arches and color accents contribute to the quality of each room. The attic has its own, unpolished atmosphere. Interventions have a coarser grain here.


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Project location

Address:Leysstraat 7, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Refurbishment of 3 Historical Buildings / Bovenbouw + Barbara Van Der Wee Architects" 10 Jan 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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