In the center of Reningelst near Ypres, in the west of Belgium, a heritage-protected facade unsuspectingly gives access to the ultra-minimalist home of interior architects Sophie Popelier and Wim Carton. While the facade remained intact, the property was repurposed as Minus.05: a contemporary private residence that connects the family's long cabinet-making history and love of craftsmanship with its residents' relentless drive to push ideas, detailing and finishes to the limit. From floating cabinet modules to solid oak custom furniture to its own design collection, Minus.05 is a pure style bible where nothing is superfluous.
Minus.05 was once home of Wim Carton's great-grandfather. The carpenter's workshop was next door. He made the window frames himself and the wooden gutter also represents original craftsmanship. Although the house was converted into a contemporary private residence by Wim and his wife Sophie, the traces of that family history are still clearly visible. Not only in the heritage-protected facade, but also in the preservation of the authentic floor tiles, ceiling moldings, doors and roof trusses.
Minus.05 consists of a 'Day & Night' section. ‘Night’ is the old part of the building where the sleeping quarters of the residents are now located. Not a single wall, floor or door was moved or relocated. Inspired by the box-in-a-box principle, the old building with false walls did get a contemporary, blank interpretation and a framework through which techniques could be made invisible. ‘Day’ is the modern extension in the garden where the living spaces of the residents are located. The typical Flemish architecture of yesteryear with a succession of cottages was replaced by an elongated, 4x4x40 glass volume which, inside, is mainly characterized by floating furniture and a sophisticated puzzle of walls and lines that flow perfectly into one another. The transition from ‘Night’ to ‘Day’ is also undiscerned: with floors that flow seamlessly into baseboards. And with the same banked sense of calm in the perception of architecture throughout the building.
Floating cabinet modules
Designing is erasing, and as in all Minus realisations in Belgium and abroad, you will find proof of craftsmanship in the details at Minus.05. That is noticeable in a lot of aspects: down to the absent presence of sockets and other technology or the elaboration of a radiator grille in the storage room. Minus.05 is a pure style bible where minimalism is taken to the absolute extreme. In order to achieve this, Minus' interior designers and cabinet makers are in need of their own joinery workshop in order to reach their standards. There, out-of-the-box ideas are being transformed into unique custom furniture, such as Minus' floating cabinet modules, as well as its own design collection.
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(photography: Piet-Albert Goethals, cafeine.be)