House DF-V by Arjaan De Feyter

We know them well: the case study houses, the Bauhaus inspired houses, Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye or Philip Johnson's Glass house. But who knows Herman Andreissen's steel house from 1969 in Zoersel? Originally designed as a prototype that could be easily erected elsewhere, this architectural gem ended up converted and extended unrecognisably. It wasn't until 2005, when interior architect Arjaan De Feyter and his wife bought the house, that architectural decay ended.

This intention of reproduction on a large scale did not come true, however the surrounding landscape, at that time still almost unspoiled, has in the meantime been covered in homes in the ‘fake-farmhouse-style’ and the steel house, built as a Case-Study house, stayed on its own. The original plans show a villa with steel skeleton and a half-open ground floor. Arjaan respectfully closed the ground floor so he could ad his own workspace.

The steel skeleton forms a perfect grid of nine squares of two storey’s high. Although closing the ground floor, the visual impact was almost non visible as they used large glass walls with hidden profiles. Most of the work lied in the renovation of this sixties house. The steel was seriously corroded in many places and had to be restored. The aluminum sandwich panels and the original wooden windows, now double-glazed, were then fitted back into the renovated skeleton. A lot of attention was paid to designing new and better joinery details.

Interior-wise you find a well balanced mix of signature design classics and refined made-to-measure design (like the minimalistic kitchen who's oozing coziness) against a backdrop of the black steel and white walls. The villa does now complies with current standards for domestic comfort, while the memory of the original house remains alive. Who needs more?

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