The villa and its spacious courtyard date back to 1908-1909. For many years, it was owned by the local judge of the peace C.H.M.L. Wauters, which is why Bree’s inhabitants still refer to it as ‘the judge’s castle’. After having been for sale for a long time, in consultation with the municipality of Bree, the plot found a new destination: it would accommodate a housing project with recognised service apartments for people over 65 years, managed by a healthcare organisation.
In order to maximise the potential of this beautiful historical site, the position of the new buildings in relation to both the garden and the ‘castle’ had to be chosen well. Thomas Roex, associate architect at Contour Architecten: “The castle is located on the front side of the plot. If you place the two residential blocks in the centre of the garden, you obstruct the view from the castle. That is why we placed the blocks on the external border of the garden. This way, the residents of both the castle and the apartments have a view of the garden, while we respected the original location of both the castle and its garden.”
Another important point to take into consideration was the residents’ privacy. The two buildings are positioned sufficiently far apart and thanks to the deep, inset balconies, there is no direct view into neighbouring apartments. The deep balconies also break the massiveness of the volumes and allow the natural light to go deeper into the apartments.