When a couple in their 40s decided to expand their house in Leuven, Belgium, they saw it as a chance to infuse their passions — sports, travel, and books — into a new space.
But before they could tend to those details, they had to figure out how to deal with the tricky location for the addition, which was situated nearly 10 feet below street level beside their garden. Architect Rob Mols thought that a window-filled extension surrounding the patio would work, and he partnered with Studio K to ensure that the architecture and interiors would be in perfect harmony.
Mols had selected pine for the ceilings and black aluminum–framed panes for much of the walls, which Studio K complemented with light gray polished concrete floors. "It reflects the natural sunlight, gives tranquility to the space, and contrasts beautifully with other materials," Karlien Heremans, the founder of Studio K, said. Then, they outfitted the bright locale — which includes a library and a gym — with plenty of storage opportunities to showcase the owner's many books and souvenirs. It was a creative solution for an unconventional problem, and it's now filled with reminders of the pair's favorite things.