Transformed on a tight budget, a decrepit brick structure in Ghent breathes new life as a treehouse-like abode.

"The column had to be affordable and nice to look at," note the architects. "So we bought a tree and put it right in the middle of the building. Between the tree and the facade, we have created new floors which are built in a spiral around the tree. This results in a very dynamic and open space."

When Belgian musician and artist Jan Vandecasteele bought an old corner house property in Ghent, he saw promise in the building despite its decayed state. 

“The house was completely rotten,” says Atelier Vens Vanbelle, the local architecture firm Vandecasteele tapped for the design of the new atelier and home. “A very drastic renovation was needed to make his dream come true.”

The owner uses the ground floor as a studio for art and music.

The owner uses the ground floor as a studio for art and music.

Tim Van de Velde

Besides rotten floorboards, the project also had a challenging budget of just 150,000 Euros—half the amount needed for a normal renovation, notes the firm. Yet, the intrepid architects took on the project with gusto and were given “carte blanche” with the design.

Large wood-framed windows flood the interior with natural light while openings in the walls give the home a porous character.

Large wood-framed windows flood the interior with natural light while openings in the walls give the home a porous character.

Tim Van de Velde

The view from the kitchen to the living area above and atelier below.

The view from the kitchen to the living area above and atelier below.

Tim Van de Velde

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Crumbling Home Is Revived Around a Massive Tree Trunk

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