Hé! converts Brussels warehouse into apartments using raw and natural materialsHé! converts Brussels warehouse into apartments using raw and natural materialsGiphy GIFGiphy GIF

Hé! converts Brussels warehouse into apartments using raw and natural materials

has transformed an industrial building in Brussels into a four-storey townhouse, studio and co-working space, adding a timber-framed rooftop extension clad in pale brickwork.
Part of a residential terrace in the Molenbeek area of Brussels, the workshop and warehouse, formerly used by a disinfectant company, had been abandoned for several years and needed significant structural restoration.
Across four levels, the new building – called Karper after Karperstraat, the street on which it sits – combines ground-floor co-working spaces with apartment spaces that were designed to be flexible.
It can either be a single-family home or split into separate, rentable studios.
“It makes it easy to repair or adjust things for our clients who are not architects, [and] the demountable knot connection of the structure allows it to be adapted or even dismantled and reused,” she added.
On the ground floor, two small co-working spaces sit alongside a corridor that leads to a rear garden and a staircase that leads up into the apartment spaces.
The first floor is currently configured as a separate, private apartment, with a large living, dining and kitchen space at the front of the home and bedrooms at the rear.
BLAF Architecten builds house in Belgium out of reclaimed bricks
A wooden staircase leads up to the two-storey apartment above, where the second-floor living area and third-floor kitchen and dining space both open onto small rooftop terraces paved with white tiles.
Following the proportions of the adjacent building, the new extension is finished with thin piers of white brick, between which sit large windows that flood the new living spaces with natural light.
Focusing on the use of natural and raw materials, the painted brick walls of the existing structure are complemented by new structural elements in timber, clay plaster and rammed-earth countertops and tables.
“In our architecture we build with regenerative materials instead of petrochemical materials,” Eckelmans told Dezeen.
“We don’t only use these materials because we think it’s better for the environment, but also because we like the local story behind these materials and their emotional value,” she added.
was founded in 2017 by Hanne Eckelmans and Renée Verhulst, working across architecture and interior design.
Elsewhere in Belgium, architecture studio BLAF used reclaimed bricks to design a home in Ghent with curving walls that wrap around a series of existing trees, and A2o architecten created House Be as “an experiment in dwelling in and amongst nature.”