Before I relocated to Australia (2012) I resided in Manchester, England for over 20-years. This vibrant city (dubbed the capital of the North) experienced an enormous amount of regeneration. My personal favourite suburb was Chorlton, which became a real property hotspot. This happened because there were several chic bars, restaurants and independent clothing boutiques. Most of the local architecture was late Victorian/Edwardian terrace homes. These dwellings were originally built for blue collar workers and therefore the footprint was exceptionally narrow. However, with the assistance of a progressive architect and a bit of lateral thinking, the results could be outstanding.

Even though most people would love to create a new home from scratch, sometimes this isn’t possible. Therefore, a different solution has to reached and that normally means renovating an existing structure. Obviously, this doesn’t offer the same flexibility as building a new property. It also can be just as expensive (more in some cases) because of planning restrictions, especially if the dwelling is Heritage listed. Nevertheless, dynamic architect practice K2A seem to overcome these hurdles and produced something incredible.

136_HOUSE_WW began life as two independent terrace houses situated in a sought after location of Brussels, Belgium. Before, the existing client acquired them they were in a dilapidated condition and had been let by an unscrupulous landlord. The first task for K2A (Kervyn, Alegria, Matthys, Crainic) was to unite the two homes and meticulously restore the original beautiful 19th-century brick façade. Ultimately, this feature brought it back in line with other similar properties on the street. The next stage involved the inclusion of a stunning contemporary extension.

Internally the specifications are exceedingly high and will appeal to appreciators (like myself) of contemporary design. It is also refreshing to see bold dark textures rather than a generic white palette. Highlights include polished concrete bench tops, bespoke kitchen cabinetry, timber flooring and a magnificent architectural open fireplace. At the rear of the house is a phenomenal glass extension, which reveals a delightful landscaped garden devised by Denis Dujardin and K2A. Truly this astonishing residence would change anyone’s perceptions about inner-city townhouse living.

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