Lorette Convent – Apartment Drbstr, Belgium

red brick facade white brick facade apartment buildings courtyard Lorette Convent
Lorette Convent - Apartments Drbstr, Belgium © Bart Gosselin

dmvA-Architecten bvba, Belgium
Location Mechelen, Belgium
Construction period 2012 - 2015
Nomination category
Living together
Purpose Offices, housing
Usable floor area 4.100 m²
Brick type Facing bricks

The Lorette Convent is located in the City of Mechelen in Belgium, next door to Hooghuys, a former merchant´s house. Both buildings are over 130 years old and are under UNESCO protection. Abandoned more than 20 years ago, the complex was recently revitalised and turned into sophisticated apartments and office spaces. The architects wanted to create action and reaction between past and present by creating a contemporary look, whilst preserving the classical design of the buildings. The white brick façade of the Lorette Convent is a response to the partly lime-washed, partly plastered façade and historic materials of the Hooghuys building. Gaps between the existing buildings were filled with monochrome white brick edifices, with French windows and covered terraces. The regeneration of the Convent, which occupies an area of 5,000 square metres, including a garden at its centre, is an example of best-practice example in mixing modern and period architecture.

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