European Mansion | DPAGES


architect Simon de Burbure has returned the grace and grandeur to this historic site while infusing it with searing modernity. Originally built in the 16th century and situated in the old centre of Bruges in Belgium, the home — renamed VH Residence — is a fine example of the brick gothic style. The original house was in a dilapidated state having not been renovated since 1880, when three houses were merged into one.  The architectural team had to be particularly sensitive to the aesthetic and structural expression of past generations given that Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The mission, therefore, was two-fold: to restore and safeguard the built heritage of the site, and to enhance its value by mindfully incorporating contemporary features and technologies into its framework such as ventilation, floor heating, home automation and lighting.  As such, Simon de Burbure and his team offer a fresh perspective on how this new home interacts with its architectural and cultural origins. 

Luxury Kitchen Design | DPAGES

As a starting…

point, the interiors were completely stripped away. Decorative and structural features, including wooden panels, hand carved doors, opulent ceilings (with their  moldings), stairs and floors, were dismantled and delivered to skilled craftspeople who went about the painstaking task of restoring them layer by layer, piece by piece, over a period of two years. 

Bespoke Cabinetry | DPAGES


typically gothic from the outside, the house’s interiors are now more classically inspired, with an emphasis on proportion, symmetry and clean order. The team has created a ‘cohesive’ color flow throughout the home, using pale creamy hues along with strong dominant colors – like regal blue against marble in the kitchen – to conjure an air of sophistication, significance and awe that subtly harks back to the house’s aristocratic past. 

Kitchen Dining Nook | DPAGES

This is enhanced…

by the generous use of straight lines and curved forms, echoing the grand arches of an original glass conservatory that now connects to the kitchen area. Here too, a curved gas fireplace made of bronze creates a rustic focal point in a space that adopts a soft interior language, at once elegant and artfully curated, with rounded furniture pieces and column-like shapes, chosen to complement the organic and architectural elements of a 3,500 m2 garden with flourishing flower beds, spherical hedges, towering trees, numerous open and closed terraces and rebuilt archways. 

Indoor Home Pool | DPAGES
Pool Desing by Simon de Burbure Architects | DPAGES


and spatial clarity are the prevailing characteristics of the new spa and indoor pool area. The latter is a perfectly proportioned room, stripped of its essentials and almost entirely clad in stone supplied by luxury marble specialist Van den Weghe, with columns and a dark-brown beamed ceiling. 

Historic Architectural Details | DPAGES

Every part…

of the design process received meticulous attention, with artisans passionately breathing life into the home’s neglected features. Of special note is the conservatory’s mosaic floor, which was completely lifted away and restored inch by inch using Belgian natural stones such as Rouge Royal, Noir De Golzinne and Italian Carrara.

Luxury Marble Bathroom | DPAGES

A dramatic…

main bathroom is described by Van den Weghe as a room where “stone is set in stone”,   with a monolithic steam bathtub, a matching blue marble floor and neutral stone marble walls. 

Luxury Home Office by Simon de Burbure Architects | DPAGES
Eclectic Interior Design by Simon de Burbure Architects | DPAGES

A sumptuous…

office on the first floor is a marvel of artisanal repair and reconstruction. Every element of this richly decorated workspace was masterfully restored, from the woodwork to the oil paintings to the shimmering stained glass windows, showcasing the world-class craftsmanship of Bruges’ artistic community. 

Minimalist Stairway Decor | DPAGES
Luxury Bedroom Design by Simon de Burbure Architects | DPAGES

Devoid of…

distractions, bedrooms embrace minimalism but allow small details to prevail conveying a sense of warmth, functionality and thoughtful luxury. Intricate millwork, curved surfaces and a herringbone parquet floor create a clean, simple backdrop for more tactile additions, including a thick hand-knitted rug, textured wall panels and sculptural furniture pieces. An en-suite bathroom has a modern boudoir-like feel and is equipped with the ultimate manor-house indulgence: a giant standalone custom-made bathtub entirely crafted from Greek Volakas marble. 

Luxury Bathroom Design | DPAGES
Custom Marble Bathtub | DPAGES

According to…

Simon de Burbure, “architecture should be an experience,” and the VH Residence is the very embodiment of this idea. Indeed, his practice has created a kind of immersive and enduring visual poetry built around a rich historic legacy, championing traditional handicrafts and a sense of community along the way. 

Luxury Closet Design | DPAGES

Tap the look…

Architecture / Design: Simon de Burbure Architects

Custom Woodwork: Kordekor

FIreplace Restoration: Vinckier

Custom Metalwork: Lootens

Marble Supplier: Van den Weghe

Landscape Architecture: Frederiek Van Pamel

Furniture Supplier: RR furniture

General Enterprise Specialised In Renovations: Artes

Photography: Thomas De Bruyne of Cafeine