Old Factory by Arjaan De Feyter

  • Old Factory by Arjaan De Feyter

    Harnessing pure forms and honest materials, Arjaan De Feyter converts an old factory in Antwerp, Belgium, into a fluent family home.

    “Repetition of materials provides peace of mind,” Belgian architect Arjaan De Feyter says. His recent revamp of an old factory in Belgium’s ‘Diamond City’ bears witness to that. The reimagined space is sober yet characterful, having clearly been stripped away of all things unnecessary, leaving only what is important to the family that lives there.

    Initially, Old Factory consisted of two separate parts; a two-storey terrace house on the left and a former steel factory where gears were manufactured on the right. When the client bought both, it was intended to become one big family home. The boundary between the two was dissolved, but the facades were kept the same to maintain a sense of duality.

    That “peace of mind” that Arjaan speaks of is produced by the recurrent use of bold natural stone. The client sourced the Calacatta Viola stone from Italy. The conspicuous material, inset with streaks of plum and flecks of burgundy, exists with pure conviction throughout the entire space. It is, at large, the mark of the home, around which all else willingly convenes.

    “Repetition of materials provides peace of mind.”


    – Arjaan De Feyter

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    “We are always looking to balance sobriety in the use of materials on the one hand and the client’s story and personality on the other,” Arjaan says. The Old Factory interiors consider the natural progression of a family home; in particular, the idea that what you see when you first move in versus when you’ve been living there for an extended period of time are two very different things. “You have to leave room for personal interpretation,” Arjaan says. Sober, ‘blank-canvas’ type materials are one way of doing this. Even now, Arjaan says, the alcove in the kitchen is full of photos, kid’s drawings and various lists.

    Arjaan is always closely involved in the design process from start to finish. This project is the perfect case study; Arjaan was there every step of the way, ensuring that his signature use of honest materials and pure forms was implemented soundly. “Everything has been thought through,” he says, “nothing is accidental”. As a result, each detail ultimately equates to one whole, seamless design. 

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