WKA Penthouse demonstrates the level of meticulousness and detail that Bruno Spaas Architectuur achieves in close collaboration with a small group of constructors and local craftsmen.
Despite perching 15 floors up high, there is solid ground in the newly inaugurated penthouse belonging to architect Bruno Spaas. With the entire 350 square meter flooring made from chunks of local light brown natural stone, the earth has been raised into the sky. This is a conscious touch by the architect who initially had planned to fill up the space with actual earth, rammed and dried like in ancient medieval houses.
Being both the owner and the architect, Bruno Spaas makes the most of the materials he finds suitable for a project. The penthouse apartment on Westkaai in Antwerp’s northern harbour area was like a blank canvas when Spaas decided to buy it in 2018. Situated on the top floor in a tower building conceived by Swiss architects Diener & Diener, Spaas immediately saw its potential.
The first, and probably greatest, surprise is placed at the entrance of the apartment. Upon opening the front door, one is met with an immediate panoramic view over the city of Antwerp, due to a sizable floor-to-ceiling window right opposite the door. When you step inside the entrance, the sensory experience is even more intense: the 25 square meter foyer, except for the stone floor, is like a mirror box reflecting the city view endlessly.
The architect envisioned a home with flexibility and spaciousness. The result was an open space with no dead ends, just doors to divide and add privacy when needed. Together with the storage solutions and functional spaces like the pantry and utility room, the plan design and layout reveal a thorough understanding of flow and everyday use.
Verticality has been used as an overall aesthetic theme in the detailing and features of the built-in and freestanding furniture. The bench in the foyer and the kitchen islands along with sanitary elements like sinks and the bathtub in the master bathroom are customised pieces carrying the same visual expression, all built by strips of locally produced Belgian terrazzo. Their features are repeated in the painted woodwork, creating a common language, and underlining the verticality of the tower.