The design of Knokke Apartment focuses on establishing a serene environment for the client. Creating this aesthetic required a few key components: firstly, it was crucial to limit the number of materials and therefore distraction from clashing elements. Secondly, the design had to prioritise a harmonious relationship between inside and outside. As we well know, so many modern structures ignore the surrounding environment to focus on the individual building design. Nils Van der Celen knew that true serenity for the residents was only possible through equilibrium between interior and exterior. Knokke Apartment is a tranquil dwelling where natural materials pair perfectly in a minimal setting.
At a moderate 125 square metres, Knokke Apartment has a comfortable floor plan where the different home functions are smartly divided. At the front of the dwelling one enters in to the main living area that includes a sitting room, full kitchen, and built-in dining area. The two bedrooms are quietly stationed in the back of the apartment, with bathrooms and utilities sitting at the core of the residence. It’s a simple floor plan, but smartly crafted to prioritise function and livability.
The materials of Knokke Apartment, though there may be few of them, are so gorgeous. Upon first entering the space one is struck by the sheer amount of warm, rick oak. The oak veneer covers most of the walls, cabinetry, and shelving, along with several furniture pieces. Oak is such an memorable material, calling to mind a range of experiences: from traditional hardwood floors to trees in both urban and rural settings. Contrasted with the oak are the other materials in the apartment: concrete and stone. Harder and rougher than the light wood, the stone materials provide accent and depth to the design while also imparting a more modern air. The floors are a creamy shade of grey, polished to near perfection. In the kitchen, our favourite, Carrera marble, reigns supreme. Utilised on the counters and backsplash, the marble, predictably, steals the show. The bathroom counters veer in a more playful and surprising direction with a slab or coloured terrazzo. Terrazzo has been slowly gaining popularity with modern designers as a way to incorporate character and colour while staying within the realm of natural stones.
The furnishings are as much a part of the architecture as any other element of the home. The majority of pieces, such as the dining banquette, bookcases and storage units, and beds, are built-ins. Comprised of the lovely oak, the built-in furniture allows for seamless integration into the apartment, further solidifying the simplicity of the each room. Unique elements such as brass hardware and fluted glass add a touch of luxury, while soft linens provide comfort wherever needed.