Studio Khachatryan and Harlan Levey Projects open art and design space in Brussels
Designer Noro Khachatryan unveils his new Brussels studio space, a shared space that serve as a blank canvas to display his furniture pieces as well as art exhibitions curated by local gallery Harlan Levey Projects
Two years in the making, the new Brussels studio of designer Noro Khachatryan opens with a minimalist interior conceived to showcase art and design pieces, at the same time serving as a functional workshop space. The studio is set within a 19th-century industrial building in Brussels’ Molenbeek neighbourhood, and its two floors will host work and exhibition spaces for both Studio Khachatryan and local gallery Harlan Levey Projects, acting as a multidisciplinary ‘cultural hub’ merging art and design.
Khachatryan founded the eponymous studio in 2010, working between furniture design, objects and architecture. Inspired by classical architecture, in a decade of design work through his studio he has developed an essential visual language based on simple geometries and rich material palettes. On the other hand, Harlan Levey has run his eponymous art exhibition space in nearby Ixelles since 2012, and with this new space, the gallery will focus on expanding its scope with a mix of art, design and creative labs, ‘to create interesting ideas and outcomes for the now and for the future.’ The centre of a new creative hub in Brussels, the art and design space’s neighbours include artists Emmanuel Van der Auwera (whose studio is located in the same building), Marcin Dudek, Amélie Bouvier and Sean Crossley.
‘The location and history of the building were both great inspirations,’ says Armenian-born Khachatryan, who led the interior design project with his team. ‘I think it’s important to listen to and respect a structure when amending it. Over the years, the building had been used as a depot for beer and shoes and even as a mosque. At times I imagine many people working there; at others, silence and storage. It felt important to leave some of these traces present, and a few elements of the original bricks and beams were left visible.’
The space is designed to honour both approaches, and its interiors are an upgrade to the traditional white box concept. While the colour and material palette of the space has been kept to a minimum with white walls and ceilings, details such as the stone tiled flooring and an angular black steel staircase connecting the two floors bring the minimalist interiors to life. The building is accessed by a small courtyard, which, the designer explains, ‘provides the ability to create a sort of organised urban feeling, a passage between the chaotic city and the contemplative practices hiding behind it’.
The space’s inaugural display includes a solo show of artist Marcin Dudek by Harlan Levey Projects, while Studio Khachatryan offers a panoramic view of its decade of projects, with some early works as well as more recent collections of furniture. §