North Sea apartment

Knokke lies on the easterly extremity of the Belgian coast, close to the Netherlands border. It is a place of shifting horizons and sweeping vistas, its quiet drama heightened by the extraordinary quality of the light, the blues, greys and ochres of a prospect of vast skies, sea and rolling dunes giving way to the lusher greens of a nature reserve beyond the shore.

The apartment wraps the western end at first floor level of one of two new apartment buildings designed by Marc Corbiau. The apartment incorporates north, south and west aspects, ensuring good natural light throughout the day and a range of views across sea, town and landscape.
A key challenge for the interior architecture was to harmonize the potential for a rare quality of expansiveness with the functional needs of the program Generous private quarters incorporate bedroom, dressing, shower and terrace.

The remainder of the floor plan is left spatially fluid, preserving internal vistas of 20 meters whilst accommodating the functions of kitchen, dining, living and library, with a choice of places to sit, work or relax, inside and out.

This post by and via John Pawson

Ghent apartment

This scheme encompasses the basement and raised ground floor of an existing building on the Korenlei promenade, close to the bridge of Sint-Michielsbrug, in the Belgian city of Ghent. The brief was for a pair of apartments, each able to accommodate seamlessly the dual functions of living environment and office, whilst also offering a sympathetic context for art - collectors of modern and contemporary art and furniture, the clients acquired a series of pieces specifically for the project, in response to the evolving design.

On the lower floor, kitchen, dining, working and living spaces are brought together in a single fluid territory, which also functions as self-contained office, with windows framing a series of views across the water to the old town. Private quarters are located at one end of the floor plan.

The upper floor is arranged to take advantage of the generous ceiling heights and enhanced natural light and aspect. The design refines the existing spatial divisions to create two elegant offices in the heart of the floor plan, framed to one side by open living space and to the other by a second set of private quarters.

One of the defining experiences of the finished spaces is the way in which very simple surfaces and spare volumes frame views of the filigree towers and ornamented gables of the Old Town, these counter-pointed by a series of extended internal vistas.

This post by & via John Pawson

Catherine Francois - Tomorrow's Man

This incredibly difficult installations took place on the beaches of Belgium's Knokke-Heist where this sculpture, titled "Tomorrow's Man" by Belgian artist Catherine Francois, was placed on one of the many tide breakers. The real performance was to see the piece interact with nature as it was literally submerged by the north sea until it finally fell on it's side sinking into the sand.

"Tomorrow's Man" ... trying to achieve a balance between man and nature ... placed between land and sea, watching him disappear and reappear ... having an attitude of humility towards the immense power of the infinite sea ..." - Catherine Francois

It took a few trials and errors before the sculpture could be reinstalled safely and is now available for viewing but I'm not sure for how long. Check back later ... I might know by then.