Alex Guesthouse was created by Atelier Vens Vanbelle for a client who works in the film industry and wanted a place to host guests that they’d remember for the rest of their lives. Job done, we’d say, as the project features an unusual design and boasts an underground cinema and a watchtower with an integrated shower.
Alex Guesthouse is located in the grounds of a home in Belgium and measures 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft). It consists of a laminated wooden shell that was prefabricated then assembled on-site and wrapped in Corten steel.
Its layout is quite complicated. The cinema and bar are located underground and can be accessed either from within the guesthouse using a spiral staircase or from the main house via a garden shed and bike storage area, which connects to a tunnel.
“As a guest you literally descend into an alienating underground world before the ultimate log cabin is shown,” explains architects Atelier Vens Vanbelle. “Guests enter the new garden shed and bicycle shed through the living room of the client, after which they descend a staircase and end up in a long underground corridor. The disorientation is complete. A first surprise awaits them when they arrive in a small cinema hall with red curtains. David Lynch is not far away. Opposite there is a small, nice bar with an equally strange character.”
The guesthouse’s main living area is upstairs on the ground floor and includes a basic kitchenette and dining area, plus a bedroom (the bathroom is underground near the cinema). The decor appears nice and simple with the uncovered wood stacked in layers and contoured for a somewhat unusual effect, and daylight comes from two large porthole-style windows. Another door provides direct access to the garden outside.
Adventurous types can also climb the spiral staircase, which continues up to the top of the watchtower. This contains a semi-outdoor shower, so visitors can wash while they check out the view.
Source: Atelier Vens Vanbelle
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