Notariaat by Atelier Vens Vanbelle


Notariaat by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

This office building in the Belgian hills by architects Atelier Vens Vanbelle has a brick facade broken by huge windows overlooking the surrounding farmland.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

The offices, waiting room and kitchen open out to the views on two sides, turning away from the adjacent street and restaurant.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

The building is cantilevered at the back to accommodate staff parking beneath.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

Here are some more details from the architects:

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.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

This kind of impressive landscapes asks for discrete admiration, just like the design assignment itself.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

A notary must be a building that establishes itself in a neutral way and it should be accessible for each type of visitor.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

We believe building in a landscape like this asks for the same kind of neutrality.

This was translated in a rough brick volume which is semi-closed to the street side and the restaurant.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

The entrance to the building is marked by a white volume made of steel plates.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

Walking through this white volume, the visitor enters a corridor looking out over a patio on the right side.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

On the left side the corridor bends to the waiting room which opens cone-shaped to the landscape.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

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.

Maarten Vanbelle by 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.

Maarten Vanbelle by Atelier Vens Vanbelle

Click above for larger image

location: Horebeke, Belgium
construction: 2009
architect: atelier vens vanbelle

See also:


Casa Orquidea
by Andrés Remy Architects
by Herzog & de Meuron
architecture stories

Posted on Monday June 28th 2010 at 5:20 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • edward

    Not keen on the appearance, something about the color and texture of the brick I think, but to frame the landscape as a “painting” with the large windows works very well.

  • Bryce

    That stair is utterly exquisite.

  • BH

    Some interesting internal spaces, nice framing of views, opening to central courtyard etc… but why the white external frames of the windows? It makes the building look a bit cartoon bug-eyed! The form of the windows and the outward projection contrasts enough against the brick, the white frame just pushes it to far for me.

  • Boebsie

    Just look at that ugly uncharacteristic church and how we evolved in the 21century with our totally awesome block. Aren’t we totally cool these days…!

    Aren’t we totally rational, this form is so rational, it just blends it to nature. It’s like a stone lying there for ages.

    And then these beautifull out of proportion windows, wow how totally creative. Aren’t we amazing talented species?

    And to keep it 21st century you need offcourse some randomly placed windows in the ceiling just to be daring…..totally!

  • Erik

    This building is build around the car? (nice car by the way)

  • edward

    Boebsie articulates all the vague uneasiness I found with the exterior of this building In fact, it’s pretty ugly come to think of it. Did the windows really have to be that big? Downsizing them and using another color brick , say gray, might make it less obtrusive in the landscape.

  • Adf

    old Mustang…mmmm…

  • Boebsie

    exactly Edward only the view is really nice, that says everything.

  • Rafel

    I also agree, a nice view!

  • popi vaki

    superb! it is the kind of structure-thinking that we must focus from now on

  • ashvin

    love it! beautiful! simple, clean. nice parking!