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atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

Belgium Architecture News - Apr 29, 2020 - 12:53   7002 views

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

Belgian architecture studio atelier vens vanbelle has built this rounded corten steel guesthouse to present a cinematic experience in a secluded garden of a villa in Berlare, Belgium.

Named Alex Guesthouse, the 150-square-metre guest cabin was designed for a client who works in the film industry and the client commissioned atelier vens vanbelle to design a small cabin for his international guests to make remember their stay for the rest of their lives. 

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

In addition to the special commission, the client (whose name is Alex) also wanted space to give previews of films and other cultural exploits, which could be more than a guest cabin, an extension of his home and job in one story.

Situated on a very idyllic place, with the Schelde (river) flowing behind the romantic garden, the site offers a castle view on the other side. 

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

"The French-style house had a garden wall behind which an old dilapidated garage and shed stood in a wild garden. A lost and forgotten corner, but still this place had everything to be the ideal location for the guesthouse: cool setting, privacy, space, and view," said the studio. 

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

Even though the form of the project is simple, the interiors of the cabin tell more and provide much more mysterious atmosphere to spend more time in this guesthouse.

As the architects highlight, this project remains close to the reality of the owner and as a guest, guests literally descend into an alienating underground world before the ultimate log cabin is shown. 

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

Guests enter the new garden shed and bicycle shed through the living room of the client, after which they descend a staircase and end up in a long underground corridor. The disorientation is complete. 

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

"A first surprise awaits them when they arrive in a small cinema hall with red curtains. David Lynch is not far away. Opposite there is a small, nice bar with an equally strange character," added the firm.

"But there is also light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a spiral staircase in a lightbox. Judging by the leaves on the steps, it must be partly outdoors." 

"The stairs seem endless, but a new atmosphere soon emerges the guesthouse. Space is designed like a wooden cave and consists entirely of laminated wood," continued the studio.

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

This serves as a floor, wall, and ceiling as well as for the entire interior: kitchen countertop, bookcase, bench, steps, and even the base for the bed. The guesthouse has two round windows, one of which overlooks the garden and the other the castle domain.

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

The walk ends, again via the spiral staircase, at a unique viewpoint over the entire area. In this tip of what looks like a lighthouse, guests also enjoy an outdoor shower while you can touch the crown of the surrounding plane trees. 

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

To achieve this, the garden landscape was tackled: the ground was raised and serves as a green roof for the underground story, while the base of the guesthouse seems to float slightly above the garden. On top of the slope, guests can enjoy the evening sun on a private terrace.

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

The architects designed the interiors of this guesthouse layer by layer in the studio by using 4 cm thick laminated wood. It was then transported in four pieces and rebuilt on site. 

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

The corten steel facade was chosen to ensure that the whole will blend beautifully in nature. "The building is abstract, it is difficult to estimate what it is exactly," added the architects. 

"It could just as well be a submarine or a container. It is open to interpretation."

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

"This project was designed as a kind of cinematic experience, in which you are catapulted from one atmosphere into another and which responds strongly to your feeling," they continued.

"One elongated surprise with a guesthouse that stays as far away from a typical hotel room as possible. Here you are briefly away from the world."

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

Roof floor plan

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

Basement floor plan

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

Floor plan

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

Section 1

atelier vens vanbelle built rounded corten steel guesthouse presenting a cinematic experience

Section 2

Project facts

Project name: Alex Guesthouse

Architects: atelier vens vanbelle

Location: Berlare, Belgium 

Size: 150m2

Date: 2020

All images © Tim Van de Velde

All drawings © atelier vens vanbelle

> via atelier vens vanbelle