De Wittestraat house Berchem

Extension of an urban single-family house








Eddy Henskens
structural engineering
Creatuur Consult
study EPB

In a street within the Antwerp Singel where the town houses have three building layers, the only building in the street with two building layers is expanded with another floor.

The added floor has as a supporting structure a wood skeleton that flexes itself between the sidewalls. The floor is built completely separate from the existing building, so the residents can keep using their house during the works. The connection with the existing house, which consists of a stairs hung from the added floor, can this way be postponed until the end of the building process.

The added floor will comprise the parents’ bedroom and an office space bordered by a functional strip with the bathroom and stairs on one side and a wall of wardrobes on the other.

A central wardrobe that also has sliding doors divides the office and the bedroom. In the front of the building there is a terrace that is divided from the bedroom by floor high double window doors. To maintain the privacy of the terrace and the inner spaces, a perforated steel front is erected in the façade surface of the existing house. The pattern of the openings in the steel façade is based on a picture of the existing lower floor. The steel front that also works as a privacy screen completes the connection of the cornices in the street view.