'This space is meant to put you in a different dimension while you are working,' says architect Giuseppe Farris, and considering this home office appears elegantly pixelated, the phrase 'different dimension' seems apt. Antwerp-based Studio Farris was tapped to convert a century-old West Flanders stable into an office on a residential property dating to 1915, and the result could not appear more modern.
As minimally sculptural as this workspace looks, however, it contains a full panoply of office amenities: a meeting room, library, reading area and desks composed according to a multi-level box-inside-a-box' concept that clearly took some out-of-the-box thinking to achieve.
To start with, the architects got rid of several small rooms that both partitioned and darkened the stable’s two floors and then demolished the first floor, itself, for good measure. By emptying the volume this way, they filled the concrete space with light, air and generous sightlines. Into this gallery-like container, they then inserted a stepped object made of thick oak beams connected via steel profiles.
Some of the beams were hollowed out to accommodate cabinetry and shelving, but others are solid and load bearing, and came together to form a staircase complete with a mezzanine. This multipurpose, 'autonomous furniture piece' stacks irregularly as it rises to the ceiling, generating a surprising amount of texture and variety in the diminutive space, depending on where one stands.
This shape and orientation, however, are pragmatic and serve its many functions: to fit a table and chairs beneath the mezzanine, map out a comfortable circulation around the room, or create a visual connection to the adjacent garden.
The practical placement of several north-facing skylights and a series of smaller openings that perforate the facade frame glimpses of the surrounding landscape, brighten the volume and keep the temperature – in this wholly different dimension – just right.