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Vincent Van Duysen Creates A Subdued, Art-Filled Penthouse In Antwerp

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Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen has designed this luxurious apartment in Antwerp: ‘C Penthouse’ balances dark, textured spaces with a rich chocolate and gray color palette, and is complemented by minimal furniture and openings bathed in natural light.

The project’s visual aesthetic is inspired by the picturesque, panoramic view of the River Scheldt and the bluestone along the gray quayside. “Arranged around the axes of its volumes and the breathtaking views, the apartment’s position allows each zone to take advantage of this spectacular location,” explains Van Duysen. The penthouse is a physical interpretation of the approach of abstract sculptor Georges Vantongerloo (1886–1965), a founding member of De Stijl—the Dutch art movement that advocated for pure abstraction and universality by simplifying form and colour to their essentials. The brief was to create an ‘urban loft’ that retains the rawness of its construction, yet still encompasses a refined finish and a feeling of comfort. Brushed concrete walls, floors, and surfaces blend seamlessly into one another, providing an austere contrast to the rough timber cabinetry, and walls and ceilings in the master bedroom and bathroom. “The abstracted approach is evident in the semi-fixed elements in ‘C Penthouse’: the kitchen island, central coffee table in the living room, and the wooden blocks behind the beds,” explains Van Duysen. The elongated bronzed brass table, custom-designed by Vincenzo De Cotiis, creates a pronounced statement in the dining area, which overlooks the Antwerp skyline and its cathedral in the distance.

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All images © Koen Van Damme