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WKA Penthouse by Bruno Spaas Architectuur

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    Belgian architect Bruno Spaas approached a 15-storey-high penthouse in Antwerp’s northern harbour area with the vision of raising the ground into the sky – a concept involving materials derived from the earth itself.

    The kitchen features sculptural free-standing island benches made of locally-produced terrazzo. The floating rangehood is lined in reflective high-gloss panels – the same as the splashback.

    The floors are lined with locally-produced natural stone. 

    Bruno had initially planned to line the apartment in rammed, dried earth to execute his idea, however, he settled on a floor made of chunks of locally-produced natural stone instead. Built-in, freestanding elements like the kitchen islands, sinks and bathtubs were custom-made from locally-produced terrazzo to complement the stone, creating visual consistency across the spaces.

    While maintaining this neutral palette, Bruno has also experimented with pops of colour, including ultramarine blue and forest green. “The light-brown stone sets the tone for the apartment but also leaves room for wonder when opening drawers and cupboards where shades of blue and green appear,” the architect says.

    A panoramic view of the city through a floor-to-ceiling window lies directly opposite the front door. The entrance foyer is clad in high-gloss panels, reflecting the neighbouring buildings and sky.

    At 350 square metres and 15 storeys above the ground, Bruno sought to design open spaces that take in their surroundings. After stepping through the front door, the first touchpoint with the apartment is a panoramic view of the city directly opposite. The entrance foyer is just as remarkable; clad in high-gloss panels, the space appears like a mirrored box, painted in the shapes and colours of the neighbouring buildings and sky. Reflective materials are a recurring theme throughout the apartment, manifesting in cupboards, sliding doors and room dividers to play on perceptions of space.

    The home was also conceptualised as a free-flowing space with few doors – only to add privacy when needed. This idea is supported by functional storage spaces like the pantry and utility room, revealing the architect’s consideration for how occupants will use the home. Leaving large pockets of empty space between the elements allows occupants to move freely about the apartment.

    The base palette of stone and terrazzo is enhanced by pops of colour, including ultramarine blue.

     

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