Architecture

Offbeat guesthouse boasts underground cinema and watchtower shower

Offbeat guesthouse boasts unde...
Alex Guesthouse was commissioned by a client in the film industry who wanted his guests to remember their stay for the rest of their lives
Alex Guesthouse was commissioned by a client in the film industry who wanted his guests to remember their stay for the rest of their lives
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Alex Guesthouse's ground floor contains the main living area, which includes a kitchenette, dining area, and bedroom
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Alex Guesthouse's ground floor contains the main living area, which includes a kitchenette, dining area, and bedroom
Alex Guesthouse's watchtower provides a shower with views over the Belgian countryside
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Alex Guesthouse's watchtower provides a shower with views over the Belgian countryside
Alex Guesthouse was commissioned by a client in the film industry who wanted his guests to remember their stay for the rest of their lives
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Alex Guesthouse was commissioned by a client in the film industry who wanted his guests to remember their stay for the rest of their lives
Alex Guesthouse is finished in Corten steel
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Alex Guesthouse is finished in Corten steel
Alex Guesthouse has two large porthole-style windows
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Alex Guesthouse has two large porthole-style windows
Alex Guesthouse was prefabricated in a factory before being shipped to the site in sections and assembled
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Alex Guesthouse was prefabricated in a factory before being shipped to the site in sections and assembled
Alex Guesthouse has a total floorspace of 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft)
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Alex Guesthouse has a total floorspace of 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft)
Alex Guesthouse has one bedroom area
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Alex Guesthouse has one bedroom area
Alex Guesthouse includes a spiral staircase that offers access to both the basement level and watchtower
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Alex Guesthouse includes a spiral staircase that offers access to both the basement level and watchtower
Alex Guesthouse is lo
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Alex Guesthouse is located in the grounds of a larger house
"This project was designed as a kind of cinematic experience, in which you are catapulted from one atmosphere into another and which responds strongly to your feeling," says Atelier Vens Vanbelle
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"This project was designed as a kind of cinematic experience, in which you are catapulted from one atmosphere into another and which responds strongly to your feeling," says Atelier Vens Vanbelle
Alex Guesthouse's underground passage can be accessed from the main house
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Alex Guesthouse's underground passage can be accessed from the main house
Alex Guesthouse's cinema is accessed by spiral staircase
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Alex Guesthouse's cinema is accessed by spiral staircase
Alex Guesthouse's underground cinema will be used to give private previews of movies
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Alex Guesthouse's underground cinema will be used to give private previews of movies
Alex Guesthouse's underground cinema area also includes a small bar area
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Alex Guesthouse's underground cinema area includes a small bar area
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Alex Guesthouse was created by Atelier Vens Vanbelle for a client who works in the film industry and wanted a place to host guests that they'd remember for the rest of their lives. Job done, we'd say, as the project features an unusual design and boasts an underground cinema and a watchtower with an integrated shower.

Alex Guesthouse is located in the grounds of a home in Belgium and measures 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft). It consists of a laminated wooden shell that was prefabricated then assembled on-site and wrapped in Corten steel.

Its layout is quite complicated. The cinema and bar are located underground and can be accessed either from within the guesthouse using a spiral staircase or from the main house via a garden shed and bike storage area, which connects to a tunnel.

Alex Guesthouse's underground cinema will be used to give private previews of movies
Alex Guesthouse's underground cinema will be used to give private previews of movies

"As a guest you literally descend into an alienating underground world before the ultimate log cabin is shown," explains architects Atelier Vens Vanbelle. "Guests enter the new garden shed and bicycle shed through the living room of the client, after which they descend a staircase and end up in a long underground corridor. The disorientation is complete. A first surprise awaits them when they arrive in a small cinema hall with red curtains. David Lynch is not far away. Opposite there is a small, nice bar with an equally strange character."

Alex Guesthouse's ground floor contains the main living area, which includes a kitchenette, dining area, and bedroom
Alex Guesthouse's ground floor contains the main living area, which includes a kitchenette, dining area, and bedroom

The guesthouse's main living area is upstairs on the ground floor and includes a basic kitchenette and dining area, plus a bedroom (the bathroom is underground near the cinema). The decor appears nice and simple with the uncovered wood stacked in layers and contoured for a somewhat unusual effect, and daylight comes from two large porthole-style windows. Another door provides direct access to the garden outside.

Adventurous types can also climb the spiral staircase, which continues up to the top of the watchtower. This contains a semi-outdoor shower, so visitors can wash while they check out the view.

Source: Atelier Vens Vanbelle

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3 comments
Username
I'm not a fan of sore thumb architecture. He could have built the same interior(although i don't know why) with an exterior that integrated much better with the house.
ljaques
Very expensive, very odd. I'm surprised there isn't blood on some of those exposed corners, from stubbing toes or hitting hips, elbows, and hands. On the plus side, I'll bet he got his wish, and nobody who stays there will ever forget the place.
Phileaux
Theatre seats are probably expensive from "someone" but don't look at all comfortable.