Sand Castles

Effortless warmth.


The time for an ice cream during a cycling afternoon along the sea is here, it is only a matter of closing your eyes & see it coming. Sunny days become more frequent yet before the fun summer blind us with marvellous colours & paradise like experiences, I want to take this opportunity of subtle sunlight coming through to observe the work of Vincent Van Duysen.

For his great contribution to architecture & interior design, he became designer of the year at Biennale Interieur Kortrijk 2016. During the event I was intrigued by his uncomplicated exhibition space.

I wondered how one could bring cosiness to such simple space. So looking deeper into his work I bump into a sweet project in Knokke Heist, Belgium that caught my eye. Elementary it binds my appreciation of his work. So today I am looking into mirroring perceptions of great minimal design: whether for their fabulous architectural claddings, light airy interiors or a simple colour palette.

We could assume that a small selection of items, clean lines & some off-white can do the trick, but having the sensitivity to choose individual elements in an almost innocent-like manner is what matters to me. Architecture, interior design or furniture; all present that delicate yet firm conviction to make a statement.

I create ambiances & spaces that breathe & give you energy & oxygen & that at the same time calm you down.
— Vincent Van Duysen.

Not only the impressive site & glorious volume but also Alberto Campo Baeza has achieved that minimal warmth of which we are talking. At his ‘House of the infinite’ the totally flushed travertine says it all. Similar case for the Helena’s Villa by Grech & Vinci, the façade screams louder than the interior. Volume & materiality are overtaking.

Light piercing though & into the space brings me the combination “energy & oxygen”. As we see present in all these spaces, in particular in the gorgeous work of Sergison Bates in this private residential with a marvellous story & intention (we will come back to this project in the future for sure!) with that high window.

The internal courtyard presented that grows life within like we do in our dreams, magnificent Japanese minimalist. Recalling the same simplicity the Knokke kitchen by Vincent Van Duysen where I would add more subtle lighting to stretch a furthermore atmospheric feeling rather than technical lighting. A twinkle of Michael Anastassiades FLOS pendant for instance, is the missing piece. Also in my opinion a velvet Nina armchair by Promemoria could always bring further elegance to any comfortable space.

Having said that at last but not least interior textures are essential; velvet, wool, marble & wood cannot be missing. Hence the presence of a Giorgetti Ago side table, which exemplifies the combination of all qualities we are looking for.

We all stand for what we practice & after a successful 25 years journey Mr. Van Duysen can show what his castle is made of. A constant minimal discipline with a warm heart. I am excited to see his input in Molteni collection to come! I will keep an eye on the stand at my visit to the Salone del Mobile, Milan next month.

  1. Gallery Helena's Villa: Architecture by Grech & Vinci Architecture & Design/ Malta 2012
  2. Daylight House: Yakohama, Japan
  3. HH Residence: Interior by Vincent Van Duysen/ Wilrijk, Belgium 2012
  4. Bleached wood
  5. Murano Ipanema: 100% wool beige carpet by Carpet Edition Lab
  6. Howard: sofa by Egg Collective
  7. House of the Infinite: Architecture by Alberto Campo Baeza/ Cadiz, Spain
  8. Travertine
  9. Ago: side table in solid in walnut canaletto & gold marble top. D50xH35cm. Design Carlo Colombo for Giorgetti 2014
  10. Holiday house: Architectecture by Sergison Bates/ Cadaqués, Catalonia, Spain, 2011
  11. DRD Apartment: interior by Vincent Van Duysen/ Knokke, Belgium 2016
  12. IC Lights S: pendant in brusshed brass & suspended sphere light. D30xH70.2cm. Design Michael Anastassiades for FLOS 2014

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