Looking at the facade of this house, nobody would suspect that it hides a huge surprise on the other side. The surprise is even more amazing when you realize that behind the historic facade of this building there’s a contemporary home that has the world’s largest pivot doors.
The renovation was a project by Sculp [IT] led by architects Pieter Peerlings and Silvia Mertens, a studio that is also known for having built the narrowest house in the Netherlands and the world’s largest floating swimming pool.
The house is located in Antwerp, Belgium and the renovation was completed in 2015. the project also included adding a rear extension that was to let light in and to open the interior to the garden.
Tbere’s a total of five levels on which the living spaces are distributed. The ground floor contains the kitchen and a large informal dining area, as well as a storage space and a garage which are also contained within the building.
The first floor is divided into two sections. There’s the old/ original portion which houses a dining space and a sitting area plus a new zone which is part of the extension and contains a suspended office built above the kitchen. The second, third and fourth floors each contain two bedrooms and a bathroom.
The contrast between the front and the rear of the house is strong and that much more striking and impressive because of the huge pivot doors. They weigh 2 tons each ( the insulated glass weighs 1.5 tons for each door) and they are 3 meters wide and 6 meters high, closing off two levels.
The goal here was to bring light into the three floors of the extension which is also why the third level features a single huge window. Another purpose was to connect the new structure to the garden. Despite the contrasts, the transition between the spaces is smooth and design is cohesive.
There’s a visible connection between the ground floor spaces and the outdoor terrace. The open kitchen features concrete counters that coordinate well with the polished concrete flooring. The kitchen also has another interesting element: a portable island which can be rolled out onto the terrace.
This type of continuity is also given by other details. One of the bathrooms, for example, features a beautiful freestanding tub seated on a wooden floor. A white wooden rocking chair sits in the corner, offering the space a relaxed and inviting look.