La Branche was first built in the eighteenth century on the site of a castle in the woods of Heverlee, Belgium. Originally a home, it later became a hunting lodge but was left vacant 15 years ago.
DMOA Architecten refurbished two brick blocks and created a new one-storey volume that links the two. The eight piers of the original facade, which gave its name to the property, were retained as a free-standing screen in front.
"When you walk through the house you feel continuously that you are in a nexus between old and new," said Luis Querol of DMOA Architecten.
The new flat-roofed single-storey volume holds the living and dining areas. It has custom-made windows and timber cladding in black-tinted afzelia.
Cupboards are made of smoked oak veneer, the floor is natural oak, and the kitchen is a combination of brown Corian and smoked oak veneer.
The new addition makes a U-shaped plan, connecting with the two brick gabled buildings that sit at right angles to it to form a central courtyard.
The house is now home to a family with four children, whose bedrooms are within the brick-built wings.
Floors and walls in the master bathroom are painted black.
Photography by Thomas Janssens. Video is by Luis Querol and Simona Nikova.
Here's a project description the architect sent us:
The project is a peaceful combination of old and new. The new part is a sober black canvas looking at the garden from behind the old walls.
In several places remnant parts of the old walls are kept as garden elements, an aspect that strengthens the atmosphere. When you walk through the house you feel continuously that you are in a nexus between old and new.
The project consists of the renovation of an old resting place for hunters in the woods of Heverlee (Belgium), transforming it in an comfortable and modern dwelling for a family with four children.
One of the three wings of the U-compositions was removed except of the facade wall, which remains with the name that gave title to the old refuge and now to its renovation "La Branche".
The sides made of brick contain the private rooms of the family meanwhile the dark volume accommodate the living and the kitchen in permanent connection with the pool and the outside garden. The dark colours of the interior design contrast with the high brightness that gets inside through the large windows.
Project Title: La Branche
Architects: DMOA Architecten
Collaborators: Benjamin Denef, Charlotte Gryspeerdt, Matthias Mattelaer; Lien Gesquiere
Localization: Heverlee, Belgium
Site area: 2200 sqm
Floor area: 655 sqm