Architect and designer Vincent Van Duysen is internationally renowned and revered for his distinct style that brings together clean lines, natural materials and colors, timeless design, comfort, functionality and the use of light as a building material. He has been strongly influenced by his work with Aldo Cibic at Sottsass Associati in Milan, where he gained an appreciation for simplicity and purity of form, by his Belgian heritage and the traditional use of natural materials and textures, but also by tribal cultures and their customs. Van Duysen’s residential or commercial projects are always a “complete architectural product with subtle transitions between architecture and interior design combined with a spatial design attitude that always searches the essence.” Largely regarded as a minimalist, Vincent Van Duysen rejects this label and sees his own work as “essentialism”, a quest of finding the essence of things, the soul of objects, leading to creating spaces that please the senses and establish a feeling of well-being.
Largely regarded as a minimalist, Vincent Van Duysen rejects this label and sees his own work as “essentialism”, a quest of finding the essence of things, the soul of objects, leading to creating spaces that please the senses and establish a feeling of well-being.
The houses designed by Van Duysen look striking in their simplicity as well as in their refined or organic beauty, but they always feel like a home filled with warmth. The BS Residence exemplifies this beautifully. Located in Zwevegem, Belgium, the former farmhouse, two barns and three smaller buildings were converted into a family residence. The project respects the traditional Flemish architecture but adds contemporary touches to the design. The overhanging roof and the “kalei” brick façades give a distinct look to the structures, while the red oxblood doors reference centuries-old traditions. The buildings are positioned around a central court and create a sheltered but open space; the volumes are placed in a direct relationship with each other and frame the views of the countryside landscape. Inside, stunning details and natural materials with rough or smooth textures create rural and comfortable living spaces. Wooden floors, furniture made of wide oak planks, aged bluestone, and “kalei” brick are joined by exposed light bulbs, simple furniture and natural rugs. Large windows offer gorgeous views of the landscape and of the court, bathing the rooms in natural light and also creating a balance between brightness and darkness throughout the house. The BS Residence skillfully captures the essence of rural living in a space that has a distinct beauty and plenty of soul. Photo credits: Vincent Van Duysen.