What once was an old chocolate factory in Ranst, Belgium is now Fabriek 61 — an innovative live / work / gallery / event space. Combining their passion for art and architecture, Studio Spruyt artist Liesbeth Spruyt and Dries Vinck, who leads a graphic and web design agency, transformed the rundown building into a one-of-a-kind community space as well as their personal residence.
The couple filled the space with unique art and quality furnishings, including many handcrafted pieces from Ethnicraft. Fabriek 61 now makes the perfect setting for everything from photo shoots to launch parties and meetings and is decorated with designs to inspire. The duo tells us more.
Tell us about the history of Fabriek 61! Where is it located?
Fabriek 61 was a former praline factory and a household name in Ranst. The house dates from around 1910. Ranst is situated in the green outskirts of Antwerp. We restored the location and brought the industrial look back to the foreground. The concrete ceiling was made visible in the back extension and for the floor and kitchen island we chose grey microtopping of Atelier Ciré.
What condition was the property in when you first saw it?
Apart from the facade, we had to start all over again. Both inside and outside. The property was in very bad condition. We completely renovated the inside, the back façade, and the garden. We left the façade as it was. We only painted the windows and door black and had a shed constructed above the entrance door.
When it came to the interior design, what was important to you?
We found the building very charming and authentic and tried to keep these elements as much as possible. We chose a minimalist style, natural materials, large windows to let in a lot of light and timeless furniture and interior pieces.
This is a gallery / event / studio space, as well as your home. How do you make all of the areas coexist?
During the renovation we opened up the spaces so that the ground floor forms one big unit. We chose natural materials and simplicity prevails. This is important for the works of Studio Spruyt. The colorful paintings and monochrome volumes play with the architecture of the space, making it an ideal setting for events and photo shoots. The upper levels were designed more as a residence with a separate kitchen and lounge area upstairs.
Take a tour in the slideshow.