Studio and home Vanhout
Carli Vanhout & Paul Schellekens
Turnhout, Parklaan 146
Until last year I worked with AR-TUR for tours around the Turnhout School. I had already heard of this group before (which is actually not a group …). Paul Schellekens taught me during my architectural studies. We did a bus tour with him through Turnhout and visited a few buildings. I have already discussed other buildings of the Turnhout school, for example School Sint-Victor. Paul Schellekens’ father was also a famous architect and his house is a gem.
Vanhout en Schellekens
Carli Vanhout came from a contractor family and went to study architecture in Brussels in the 1950s. He started his own studio and married Mia, the oldest daughter of Jozef Schellekens. At the time, Vanhout was mainly influenced by Scandinavian architecture. His brother-in-law Paul Schellekens also studied architecture and in the late 1950s, Paul worked with Carli Vanhout in the weekends and summer months. A cross-pollination started between the practical experience of Vanhout and the new insights of Schellekens. In the early 1960s they had further developed this into their own version of brutalism, based mainly on the work of Le Corbusier.
Studio and house
Paul Schellekens was also mentioned as an architect in the 1964 building application for Vanhout’s own studio and home. The studio is on the side of the road, a little buried, so employees have a view of the grass in the front yard rather than the road. The house is on the garden side, separated from the studio with a patio. There were few homes at that time that were so roughly finished inside. Lampens’ homes, such as Woning Van Wassenhove, date from much later. The showpiece in the open living space is the fireplace, made entirely of concrete.
Entrance with obstacles
You will not see the entrance on the street side. You have to overcome some “obstacles,” including a pond with stepping stones. As Paul Schellekens stated in an interview: “A home must offer shelter … People are absolutely welcome, but please at a front door that I don’t usually place in sight.” One has 8 different experiences from the street to the reception room of the architectural office . To clarify which path you should follow, there is a link with plants and pebbles from outside at the front door that leads through the patio and the house to the garden.
House in the garden
There is another extra house in the garden, the so-called “sun house”. It is a design by the Vanhout & Schellekens studio from 1980. The side walls are triangles, the north facade a closed wall and on the south side it is one large glass roof. Underneath the roof there is a brick volume in the shape of a staircase with living and office space. The space between the roof and the stairs serves as a green house and is at the same time a source of light and heat. It was designed according to the then completely new ideas of energy saving.
In 1986 the collaboration between Vanhout and Schellekens came to an end. Paul Schellekens also designed in his own name and the architectural office was further expanded by Carli’s son, Luc Vanhout. The architectural office has also been given a different name: AIM.
If you’re a fan of the ‘Turnhoutse School’, look at the architectural map by AR-TUR and the book of the Turnhoutse School, written by Yves De Bont & Francis Strauven. The book is also available at Master Meubel.
Studio and home Vanhout
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