Apartment DM

merging of two new-build apartments
A family with three children was looking for a family home in the city when it stumbled upon a new block of apartments under development by POLO. They bought not one but two apartments and commissioned our interior designers to create a unique duplex dwelling.


Surface area
Bea Geboers
Bulthaup ligna recta

A duplex apartment as urban villa

Having previously lived in a traditional old row house, the family relished the opportunity to collaborate with our team on designing their new place from scratch. With exacting demands for materials and technical installations, they wanted this to become a showcase for cutting-edge interior design. But first and foremost it had to be a practical and welcoming home for a busy family with two working parents.

As the apartments were originally envisioned as single floor layouts, their merging into a duplex required some crucial plan amendments. The ground floor with garden were transformed into the daytime living facilities while the first floor  now accommodates the more private quarters with bedrooms.

In order to link the two floors a seamless stairway in glossy white finish was installed by specialist contractors. Frameless glass balustrades complete the minimalist look of this sculptural intervention. The staircase void opens up cross views and brings an increased spatiality to the home. This is compounded by the presence of an inset balcony on the first floor, next to this void. The balcony is recessed into the side facade, facing the neighbouring plot and its scenic cloister garden. The triple aspect character of the residence — with windows and views to the front, back and side — , contributes to it feeling like a true urban villa.

The upstairs bedrooms are organised around the light-filled balcony room and adjoining multifunctional communal space, avoiding the typical dark corridor scenario found in most apartments.

Downstairs we conceived a similar space-efficient design, with a combined guest room / study in the central location of the balcony upstairs. This room can be completely opened up by means of glass sliding doors. In this way the flexible, daylit space brings light into the heart of the floor plan, opening up the entrance located between living and dining spaces.

Material restraint

A simple and minimal palette of materials is used for the finishes. The kitchen, custom-designed by Bulthaup, integrates cabinetry in white laminate, stainless steel work surfaces and a kitchen island in dark walnut timber.

Large format ceramic tiles with natural stone look provide durable floor finishes in wet and heavily trafficked areas, while oak floors in herringbone pattern infuse living spaces with warmth and luxury.

The slatted doors of the built-in cabinetry offer tantalising glimpses of what’s inside, while contributing to the open, spacious character of rooms. A vintage glass cabinet showcases family heirlooms and adds a more personal touch to the minimalist interior.