House in the Fields by Stef Claes

  • Architect Stef Claes brings California’s Mid-Century Modern scene to the Belgian countryside in this contemporary family home in West Flanders.

    Switzerland-based architect Stef Claes designed House in the Fields to capture the Flemish landscape where possible. Through tailored outlooks, alternate ceiling heights and full-height glass panelling, House in the Fields combines Mid-Century touches with the warm minimalism Belgium is known for.

    The client specifically requested a non-neo-barn style home; instead, an open pavilion with subtle aspects of rustic charm Belgian farmhouses are known for. “A home where the sunlight and rural landscape are integrated at every opportunity,” as architect Stef Claes puts it. 

    Like in the Seaside Retreat, Stef Claes says the work of renowned American architects A. Quincy Jones, John Lautner and Richard Neutra informed the genesis of House in the Fields, along with his portfolio of redesigns in Los Angeles. “The time I spent working in California on reconversions and restorations of Mid-Century Modern houses planted the seeds for this home,” Stef says.

    Natural materials like grey terracotta flooring, white bagged brick walls and white marble are a nod to the Mid-Century Modern era and lend certain robustness to the family home. Belgian linen sheers diffuse light from the full-height glazing around the perimeters of the home, softening the rigid lines and solid materials throughout the home.

    Akin to the boxy layouts of Mid-Century homes, the kitchen is at the centre of the home away from the main hallway. Clad in waxed honey plywood with stainless steel cabinets and realised by Belgian kitchen artisans Diapal, the kitchen walks the line between functionality and aesthetic; what Stef describes as a combination of “the strong and the soft, and the natural and the raw”.

    Designed as an ode to the Mid-Century movement, House in the Fields by Stef Claes makes a statement through a warm and restrained palette.

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