Staircase filled with life

Townhouse, Antwerp

Gert Voorjans designs interiors that are intended for people to live in, entertain guests, grow old together. It seems more self-evident than it is. How many homes are nothing more than backdrops that have not be tailored to the occupants’ lives? How many interiors are self-portraits of the decorator rather than the owners? Voorjans’ interiors are people-friendly. As a matter of fact, they are fundamentally pleasant. Pleasing to the eye, pleasant for guests, pleasurable in everyday life. This holds true even when daily life once looked completely different in the residences he redesigns. 

The central staircase in the Antwerp townhouse from 1900 immediately reveals that early bourgeois lifestyle. The escalier d’apparat was an architectural status symbol, intended to make an impression. The entire residence is constructed around the staircase. The various flats and bureaus of the building’s occupants open onto that majestic stairwell. The glass-domed cupola provides daylight access to all storeys along the stairs. Voorjans reinterpreted that skylight here with a contemporary photo installation by Wouter Deruytter.

Photography: Tim Van de Velde | Text: Gert Voorjans & Thijs Demeulemeester