Originally designed in 1934 by architect Nachman Kaplansky, Villa Kaplansky demonstrates the clean, geometric lines that were part of the Bauhaus movement’s influence. The exterior, with its linear, three bayed facade sitting on a raised plinth, uses the simple, functional language of the Modernists; the interior, recently remodelled, utilises these forms too, but with a contemporary take on ‘30s modern, adding an air of elegance.
Surfaces are kept pure and white, uninterrupted by skirtings or cornicing. Architraves align with wall planes. Thinly profiled jambs of black metal frame the outside through openings that are low and linear, or perfectly circular. The circle motif appears again and again, from deeply recessed skylights to the spiral stair wrapping itself ribbon-like through the double-height volume. Mirrors are round, as is a fabulous freestanding bathroom basin unit.
Contrast comes from the mid-brown timber joinery, in random width sections adding richness and texture, and mosaic tiles lining horizontal and vertical surfaces in wet areas. Beautiful marmoreal (or engineered marble here) forms the seamless kitchen island and floor surfaces, contrasted with the pale, creamy-pink fluted profile of the joinery units.
Loose furniture is bold with simple lines, from the ‘70s classic Ligne Roset Togo sofa in tan leather, to the Eames lounge chair and LCM dining chairs; to Muller van Severen’s modern classic recliner (more, here).
Beyond the main residence at the back of the garden is another building: a rectilinear, concrete pavilion with circular cutouts. It’s a beauty. (See more, here)
Villa Kaplansky, Antwerp, by B-architecten in collaboration with ByPerez.
Photographer: Frederik Vercruysse, with thanks.