Sculp IT adds "world's largest pivoting window" to an Antwerp townhouse


A pair of glass doors, weighing almost four tonnes and measuring six metres in height, pivot out towards the garden of this renovated Antwerp home.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

The twin two-storey doors – described by Belgian studio Sculp IT as "the world's largest pivoting window" – form the rear wall of the house extension, connecting a new kitchen and dining room with the garden beyond.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

The house had previously featured extensions that provided no connection with the garden.

Architects Pieter Peerlings and Silvia Mertens cleared these away to create space for the new glazed addition.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

Their aim was to ensure that all three levels of the new structure – named LALO – would benefit from natural light and garden views.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

A pair of tailor-made French windows were commissioned from Swiss manufacturer Jansen, with bespoke engineering provided by distributor ODS Jansen. Fitted with insulated glass, each of the giant doors opens with a pivot rather than a traditional hinge.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

"The simple, contemporary glass rear has the world's largest pivoting window – three metres wide by six metres high – and makes this house ready for the future," said Peerlings and Mertens, who also lay claim to having built the narrowest house in the Netherlands and the world's largest floating swimming pool.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

"We didn't do a lot; but what we did has giant repercussions to the way of living in that house," they said.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

The new ground floor area provides an open-plan kitchen and dining area adjoining the garden, while utility rooms and a garage area are located within the existing building.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

Polished concrete forms the floor of the extension and continues out into the garden terrace, providing a sense of continuity between interior and exterior spaces.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

Countertops are also made from the same material and an island in the centre of the room features casters, allowing it to be moved to the terrace. According to the architects, this makes it "the ideal barbecue house".

LALO by Sculp(IT)

A narrow office space is suspended above the kitchen, level with the first floor of the existing house. Above, one of the two upper-floor bedrooms has access to an internal balcony that overlooks the dining space.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

The architects also carried out works to the existing house, renovating two bathrooms positioned between the bedrooms.

A freestanding bath sits directly on the floorboards of one spacious bathroom, while green tiles were used to mosaic a shower room.

LALO by Sculp(IT)

The historic facade facing the street was left as it was, to retain its "bourgeois radiance" said Peerlings and Mertens.

Photography is by Luc Roymans.

Project credits:

Design: Sculp[IT] – Pieter Peerlings and Silvia Mertens
Engineer: ODS
Door construction and installation: Lootens Line
Manufacturer: Jansen

LALO by Sculp(IT)
Site plan – click for larger image
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
First floor plan – click for larger image
Second floor plan – click for larger image
  • davvid

    Not a great looking space though.

  • Pilo

    An entire African village could have been fed for decades with what that must’ve cost.

    • Dude, the world is full of cheap boring facades, none of which has solved world hunger issues.

  • spadestick

    The doors are spectacular, but where’s the rest of the house?

  • Guest

    Gratuitous. Form and Function, lest we forget it.

  • Eric

    That’s one crazy master bathroom. The “tub room” is bigger than most bedrooms. I’ve never seen that before.

  • HOT

    Jansen is not a polish company. It’s a swiss company providing (mostly) steel window systems. In Poland manufactured by Austrian Company Königstahl. It’s for sure cheaper to get the swiss tech via Poland. ;-)

    • Thanks for pointing this out, we’re now updated the story, Jessica/Dezeen

    • Filip Verdonck

      Jansen is a Swiss manufacturer of steel window systems, indeed. Königstahl is only distributor of Jansen profiles. The doors have been manufactured by Belgian company Lootens-line.

  • Laurent Bouman

    Dang. Wouldn’t want to have fingers crushed by four-ton doors. Gotta watch out for the kids. Looks pretty nice though.

  • KyleOnDisqus

    kudos, I’m glad someone was willing to pay to make such an amazing component. Just think of the calculations to make those windows pivot and seal. All they need are internal blinds to control the light and they would be perfect.

  • Remko Mathijssen

    Indeed, those are amazing doors. I’m worried about the water tightness on the floor. Do we just accept that there will be water coming in?