Memo Architectuur organises Belgian home renovation around concrete spiral staircase


A spiralling staircase and concrete flooring characterise this renovation of a dilapidated row house in Mortsel, Belgium, designed by local studio Memo Architectuur.

Originally comprising two stacked apartments, Memo Architectuur overhauled the spaces to form a single-family home, adding an additional floor to align the building with the streetscape and maximise interior space.

The renovation combines two stacked apartments into one home

“The residents wanted a light-filled home with spaces that seamlessly flowed into each other and where as much contact as possible would be encouraged,” lead architect Yasmijn van Winkel told Dezeen.

“The only elements that have been preserved from the existing home are the front facade, the party walls, and the basement,” she continued.

Entrance hall of Belgian home by Memo Architectuur in Belgium
A spiralled concrete staircase provides circulation through the home

The 240-metre-square home opens up to an entryway, lined with blue ceramic tiles, that contains storage space and a small toilet.

Beyond the centralised staircase and utility area, the ground floor hosts an open-plan kitchen and dining room lit by openings to the home’s south-facing garden.

Home entryway of Well by Memo Architectuur in Mortsel, Belgium
The ground floor features green-hued concrete and blue-tiled flooring

Green-hued polished concrete flooring, raw concrete and wooden furniture bring cool, earthy tones to the home interior, which is decorated with leafy plants.

“The residents prioritized the use of natural and honest materials to foster a relaxed and homey ambience,” van Winkel explained.

“Despite the vibrant array of colors, a sense of tranquility is achieved by embracing simplicity and straightforwardness in the material palette.”

Interior view of Well by Memo Architectuur
A first floor made from concrete overlooks the kitchen and adjacent garden

With a width of 4.75 metres and length of 16 metres, the studio was tasked with drawing light into the darker areas at the centre of the home.

To address this, the vertical circulation was relocated to the home’s centre to operate as a light shaft, complemented by circular skylights and large openings at the building’s front and back.

A curved, concrete upper floor hosts a living space that overlooks the kitchen area below, with floor-to-ceiling windows both drawing in sunlight and providing views of the garden.

Meanwhile, an additional living space is provided at the front of the home.

First floor of Well by Memo Architectuur
A newly built second floor hosts three bedrooms and a large bathroom

On the newly built second floor, the main bedroom opens into a large en-suite bathroom centred by a walk-in shower wrapped by a circular rail and curtain and crowned with an overhead skylight.

Pale blue ceramic tiles extensively line the bathroom and are contrasted by a white bathtub and blue sink fixtures.

The adjoining bedroom overlooks the garden below, while two smaller bedrooms are provided at the home’s front.

En-suite bathroom of Well by Memo Architectuur
The interior spaces are lit by circular skylights and large facade openings

Memo Architectuur is a studio based in Antwerp, Belgium, led by Eleni Daelemans and Van Winkel.

Other residential projects recently completed in Belgium include a courtyard house built from materials reclaimed from a demolished warehouse and a refurbished townhouse featuring a skylit atrium.

The photography is by Evenbeeld.


Project credits:

Design and execution architecture and interior: Atelier Welleman – Aster Welleman
Lighting plan: Moon Lighting
Structure engineer: Yuvico
Ground floor – polished concrete: Luconfloors
Concrete stairs: Betontrappen Tom Hermans
Window decoration (curtains): Bijloos Interieur
Outdoor windows and doors: Acobo



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