Transforming a laundry building
by Alain Hinant and Jean Glibert

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French architect Alain Hinant has converted a former laundry building outside Brussels into a three-storey family house.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

The building originally served three houses in the suburban area of Uccle and is positioned as an annex at the back. An access corridor stretches through the ground floor of one of these houses, creating an entrance from the street.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

Swathes of black and blue coat the walls, floors and ceilings of the house as part of an artwork by Jean Glibert.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

"The relationship between [the colours] is the point, not really the colour itself," Hinant told Dezeen. "The glossy black is not easily visible when you come into the space. Its reflection works like a mirror and changes all the time. The matte blue, a pure colour, defines a virtual volume linking the three levels."

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

A staircase winds up through the converted building, connecting a kitchen and dining room on the ground floor with a large ensuite bedroom on the first floor and a study in the attic.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

A skylight added above the staircase helps to increase natural light in the building, while a glazed wall at the back opens the ground floor out to a garden and patio.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

"This annex is located in the middle of a small paradise of greenery - well oriented and very quiet," added Hinant. "The poetry of this project comes from its simplicity and ordinary nature."

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

Other recently completed projects in Belgium include an ice rink designed to look like a whale and a performance centre with a camouflaged facade. See more architecture and interiors in Belgium.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

Here's some more information from the architect:


Transforming a laundry in Uccle

The annex, attached to the rear of a group of three identical houses in the centre of the commune of Uccle, in the Brussels region, played host in the last century to a laundry. Its three storeys and the ground floor of the street-facing house are now the owners' family home.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

The renovations tied the three floors together visually, improved the natural lighting and opened up views over the garden. A large open space was created at the centre of the annex, in the middle of which unfurls a staircase lit by skylights in the roof overhead.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

Above: colour concept diagram

From the street, the view extends through a large bay window at the far end of the annex into the garden.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

Above: site plan

By painting sections of the walls, floors and ceilings, the artist Jean Gilbert has created a mass of colour that transcends the various levels and engages with the building through reflections in the glossy black paintwork.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

Above: ground floor plan - click above for larger image

The works, which were simple and inexpensive, were largely carried out by the owners themselves. They also provided an opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of the building, which will give rise to substantial savings in future.

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

Above: first floor plan - click above for larger image

Architect: Alain Hinant
Artist: Jean Glibert
Structural engineer: René Troisfontaines

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

Above: long section - click above for larger image

Sanitary, heating, thermal insulation: Bruno Hendrichs (Neologik)
Metal works: Philippe Gerstmans
Kitchen furniture: Alain Grousse (Menuiserie Marcel Adelaire)

Transforming a laundry building by Alain Hinant

Above: cross section

Location: Uccle, Belgium
Area: 120 sqm

  • http://beckesinteriordesign.com S. Beckes

    Very creative use of glossy black paint to reflect and transcend the various floors of the house.