OMG, I Want This House: Kortessem, Belgium
The Daily Beast presents a look at one of the most insane houses in the world.
For some people, it’s concern about the end of the world that has them gravitating towards bunkers. Others are obsessed with building a cozy ode to privacy. And then there are those that have weird fantasies of living like a fox. While we do judge some of these proclivities (quietly, and to ourselves), it’s hard to fault any affinity for bunkers when the space in question is a stunning, Brutalist-inspired home in the middle of the Belgian countryside. For a cool $1.6 million, you can jump to the top of the ranks of bunker-dwellers in this concrete-and-glass house built into the hillside by architect Juul Vanleysen.
2: Brutalism may not be the most beloved of the architectural movements, but it is one of the more striking as this Brutalist-inspired project attests through vast walls of exposed concrete both inside and out.
3: This home may be partially buried in a hillside, but just because one side of the structure hugs the land doesn’t mean the interiors are cramped and damp. Here, it’s wide open, spacious living areas as far as the eye can see.
4: We like to refer to this style as bunker-lite, both because it is not entirely buried beneath the ground and because light floods the space courtesy of one wall made of windows.
5: When you live in the Belgian countryside—in this case, in the city of Kortessem near the eastern border—it is a requirement to serve a selection of craft brews at every meal.
6: We’ve got ourselves a little upstairs-downstairs situation: on the mezzanine is an office worthy of the big bucks you are surely raking in; downstairs is all about luxurious living when you’re off the clock. Remember: all work and no play makes Jack… a crazy bunker person.
7: Built in 1996, this Juul Vanleysen project has four spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms that are made even cozier by way of wooden ceilings, concrete walls, and natural stone floors.
8: This home is surrounded by a nature reserve, so bring on those floor-to-ceiling windows…even in the bathroom. Here, the only eyes you need to worry about hiding from are the local foxes and weasels.
9: Vanleysen wanted the house to be one with the landscape, which explains his decision to build into the side of a hill. But the effect extends to the bedrooms on the opposite side of the house where occupants are up close and personal with the natural greenery. Sleeping here feels a bit like sleeping in the outdoors, with some glorious climate-control added in.
10: This is a garage fit for the car of Bond, James Bond. Now, you just need to acquire a modest Aston Martin or two and let your days as a secret agent begin…if only in your head.
11: And now to one of our favorite games: personal residence or sculpture park?
12: On the front of the house, it’s all walls buried in the land and camouflaged with greenery; on the back, the aesthetic leans towards glassy expanses of luxury.
13: When this is your view, all concerns about the end of the world or nosy neighbors will fly right out the window. And if all else fails, just retreat to your bunker and hunker down in luxury.