“It was a coup de foudre, love at first sight,” says Francis Strobbe by way of explaining how he and his wife, Idalie Vandamme, came to own a midcentury Brussels landmark. The couple stumbled upon their place while house hunting, and now live with their two kids in architect Willy Van der Meeren’s first residential commission dating from 1951.

Van der Meeren, who is known for his use of bold blocks of color and considered one of Belgium’s greatest modernists, designed most of the furnishings, too. “So it was a total concept,” adds Francis. Except, of course, changes had been made over the years. Francis and Idalie–he’s a data scientist, she has a leather bag line—are only the third owners and were committed to recapturing their house’s original punch. Not surprisingly, the kitchen was the room most in need. The hitch was that they weren’t able to uncover plans or old photos, and any departures from the original state required close consultation with the heritage agency.

The couple enlisted architect Arthur Verraes of Atelier Avondzon to, as he puts it, “take care of the kitchen.” They had discovered Verraes’s work on Instagram and are proud of the fact that, like Van der Meeren, this was his first independent project.

Is an orderly gridwork of color in the kitchen for you? Come see.

Photography by Séverin Malaud, courtesy of Atelier Avondzon.

known as the moreau house, the structure has a façade of of visible concre 17
Above: Known as the Moreau House, the structure has a façade of of visible concrete floor slabs and blocks, which also required restoration. The house was initially two stories; Van der Meeren was recruited by his original clients to add the third floor in 1962. 
the kitchen is set in the back overlooking the garden and opens to a terrace wi 18
Above: The kitchen is set in the back overlooking the garden and opens to a terrace with its original black tiles. Atelier Avodzon found their match (Uni Black Porcelain Stoneware Tiles from Zahna of Germany), and continued the exterior flooring indoors.

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