A proven eye for detail, an admiration for craftsmanship and a deep respect for history take centre stage in architect Hans Verstuyft’s latest Flemish residence.

Recognised for his restraint and sculptural simplicity, architect Hans Verstuyft has championed artisanal artistry, natural light, and the use of raw materials across his portfolio. His work embodies a timeless aesthetic that effortlessly blends a modern, Scandinavian sensibility with consideration for the context and history of each place, and Hans’ latest residence, ‘House R’ is a continued celebration of these design hallmarks.

Set across two main structures and nestled within a parcel of historic farmland, the design of House R reflects Hans’ signature style with its architectural lines, open spaces, and drawing in of natural light and airflow. The vernacular is characterised by distinctly Flemish features, tempered within its rural surroundings; constructed from masonry, long and rectangular in shape, with a steep pitch roofline and gabled triangular ends.

In a collaborative partnership with Brussels-based landscape architect Erik Dhont, the home’s enclosing gardens have been enhanced and ‘the plot’s character has contributed to the home’s ‘grounded’ feeling. “Erik Dhont ensured the surrounding landscape could be experienced in different ways from the home, sometimes cinematically, sometimes framed as a still life,” Hans says.

Hans’ use of construction materials also adds to the farmstead’s established feel. “The facing brick is roughly plastered, and the roof is made from tiles recovered from Burgundy, France. However, the plan structure and spatial perception are contemporary and refined. It makes the whole timeless and creates a certain imperfection, which immediately accentuates the craftsmanship,” he says.

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Hans Verstuyft has emphasised artisanal and raw materials throughout, such as exposed concrete, terracotta tiles from Italy, and natural stone from Germany.

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The farmstead’s functional layout accommodates a large open space for communal zones, including a generous kitchen, dining, and living space, in contrast the private spaces are all located at the opposite end of the building, across two floors via a split- level, steel spiral staircase. In keeping with the exterior, the interior materials are purposefully restrained with an emphasis on artisanal and raw materials such as exposed concrete, terracotta tiles from Italy, and natural stone from Germany. The subdued palette has been built around a foundation of cool greys and cream and is offset by the warmth of dark, smoked oak timber which offers a reoccurring thread throughout the home in the form of built-in joinery.

A curation of bespoke furniture and lighting in House R includes custom pieces designed by Hans himself, such as his ‘Spot On’ downlights and Trizo21 Austere chandelier. At the same time, a ceramic lamp by artist Jos Devriendt highlights the handmade. Stained black Fredericia J39 chairs designed by Børge Morgensen showcase natural, hand-woven paper cord seats around a simple timber dining table, while a Carl Hansen + Son CH25 chair in the living space continues this theme. Minimalist Vola tapware in the kitchen and bathrooms creates yet another nod to the elegance of Danish design.

Fostering a strong sense of historical form and expressive structural gestures, Hans Verstuyft has channelled light, nature, landscape, and material exploration within House R. As a result, the architect’s passion for craftsmanship, design expertise and attention to detail have a powerful presence in the home.

This feature originally appeared in est magazine issue 49: Force of Nature.

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