The Heyvaert house was designed in 1958 by René Heyvaert for his brother Gilbert Heyvaert. It is one of Heyvaert's few architectural works, but a key project that showcases his ideas about materials and spatial perception. The experimental dwelling bears witness to an elaborate economy of means, an (inappropriate) use of 'modern' poor materials and a resulting poetry reflected in bricolage. Between 2015 and 2017 Peter Swinnen restored and renovated part of the house. The first phase mainly focused on the first floor. Multiple leaks and natural use over the years had affected the structure. Together with the client, the original 91-year-old resident, the architect decided to update the house with a few specifically targeted changes. The house remains relevant because to this day it influences and challenges the attitude of contemporary architecture, e.g. in Flanders, for better or for worse.
This text is based on the architects’ project details and the essay by Eireen Schreurs, which was published in Flanders Architectural Review N°14. When attitudes take form.