Architect: Stéphane Lebrun, interiors: Stéphane Lebrun & Jean-Luc Laloux
Typology: private residence
Nestling in the rolling hills of Wallonia in southern Belgium, La Micheline is a recently renovated traditional gîte surrounded by meadows and woods. The owners, artist Anne and architectural photographer Jean-Luc Laloux, personally supervised the complete overhaul of a very small disused railway station.
Bearing in mind the importance of respecting the building’s personality, they kept a part of the external walls and the top storey flooring. The rustic origins of the structure remain visible, and the rooms are mostly bare, with natural materials. Although wood and stone prevail, cement and steel offer a harmonious contrast that gives the whole a fresher, more holiday-like air, made even more fun by the table tennis, the Pétanque area for playing boules, and the bread oven.
Today La Micheline is a holiday home which can accommodate up to nine people. On the ground floor the kitchen is the centre of home life, with its large table made up of wooden planks and the bar corner to emphasize the spirit of conviviality. The huge windows underline the close relationship between inside and outside, where a terrace overlooks the vast lawn still crossed by the old train tracks.
Completing the ground floor are three bedrooms with their respective bathrooms where, in keeping with the general atmosphere, are Vieques washbasins and bathtub: the new take on old-style bathtubs, created by Patricia Urquiola for Agape in 2008, here appears in the XS version, designed in 2013 with new proportions and a compact size. Finally, the staircase leads up to a 75 square metre loft with a small kitchen, living room with fireplace, bathroom, and another bedroom.
The idyllic homogeneity of the whole house – punctuated by the grey stone and concrete and natural wood tones – is enhanced by the furniture, among which pieces by Arne Norell and Kaare Klint in bright colours, including orange, red and purple, and different materials.
photography: Jean-Luc Laloux