Today we are in Belgium and more precisely in Brussels, its cosmopolitan capital. Accompanying us during our visit is architect Luisa Grasso, who founded her architectural and interior design studio Arsbe Atelier D’architecture right here.

Brussels
The apartment before the renovation

Different tastes, a desire to rejuvenate

The generation gap takes many different forms: choice of clothes, musical preferences, use of a language. And obviously aesthetic taste.

It’s through the transition between parents and children that decisions get made to change and restructure, sometimes radically.

This is what happened with this 186 m² duplex in Brussels, decorated in a rather conventional way despite the modern space: boiserie, a thick ceiling frame, a fake brass metal cage to cover the radiators… with the new generation all this has disappeared, creating an extremely modern and stylish apartment.

Travertine: the return of an ancient “fashion”

The ancient Roman palaces, the external shrines of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain: what do these works of art have in common, apart from the Eternal City? The answer is simple for experts: travertine.

A sign of prestige for centuries, this material seemed to have been abandoned in the twentieth century, with the exception of a return in the 70s: since then complete obscurity.

That is until now, when the use of natural stone (such as travertine and marble) is once again in vogue. Indeed, as Leo Longanesi wrote, “The modern gets old; the old returns a la mode”.

Progetto Travertin a Bruxelles - Soggiorno con caminetto Palazzetti e scrigni con carta da parati Fornasetti - Architetto Luisa Grasso

Renovation of the living area

The obsolete boiserie that covered the old fireplace has given way to a cladding made of travertine cut in such a way to show off its “natural cloud patterns”. A modern touch from an ancient material.

On the sides there are two “caskets” decorated at their base with Fornasetti’s wallpaper: a secret inside the wall.

It is precisely the details that make the living area unique, between surprise and harmony, in an interplay between the different rooms of the house: like the Fornasetti detail, which we also find in the design of the Bardelli tiles in the shower box.

The Ecomonoblocco 16:9 3D fireplace, placed in the middle of the wall, was chosen by the architect, among other things, for its stylish and minimalist line, but not only for this reason.

The folding glass door, which divides the two main rooms of the living area, makes the fireplace visible from the kitchen as well: the structure of EM16:9 permits a panoramic view of the flames on all three sides allowing the homely warmth to permeate more than one room.

The long fireplace seat is designed in black metal, so as to create a connection between the travertine of the walls and the travertine of the floor, which are made of contrasting cuts.

Also in this case, interaction between the rooms plays a fundamental role: the kitchen worktops have been designed in black synthetic stone, thus recalling the texture of the cladding and the colour of the fireplace seat.

Everything is balanced, from the first to the last detail.

Photography by Anna Theodoropoulou. Other photos of the project are available on the Arsbe Atelier D’architecture website by following this link.