Canal House, Humbeek, Belgium - Photo © Martino Pietropoli
Canal House, Humbeek, Belgium - Photo © Martino Pietropoli

Architecture and interior design: Studio Farris
Furnishings: on design; Arco, Tobias Grau
Photos: Koen Van Damme, Martino Pietropoli 

Though respectfully aligned with the row of residences facing the Brussel-Scheldt Maritime canal in Humbeek (Belgium), the front of this small single-family house stands out for its diversity, and features a surprise beyond the entrance gate: a small secret garden with a tree, functioning as a buffer between the street and the house.

To emphasize the relationship with the canal, the project by Studio Farris has totally revised the volumes and the layout of the spaces, emptying a part of the original silhouette and generating an introverted front while reversing the arrangement of the functions.

While traditional homes call for a daytime zone on the ground floor, with tall windows protected by curtains, the new definition of the indoor and outdoor spaces inverts the hierarchy and puts the living area on the first floor, to obtain a quiet, more intimate space, while the bedroom zone is now on the ground level.

One bedroom opens directly onto the entrance court, while the other faces the small garden at the back, also bringing air and light to the bathroom zone. As key features of the project, the courtyards exploit the potential of the small lot, while creating spatial continuity between the ground floor and the first. The living area is divided between indoors and outdoors, thanks to a terrace that offers natural light and a fine view of the waterway, visually connecting the dining and kitchen spaces, where the latter face towards the rear courtyard.