Architect in the spotlight: DIA Architecten

DIA Architecten: architecture for the user

DIA architecten is a multidisciplinary firm of architects in Hasselt that has already been operating under the leadership of architect Philippe Dreesen since its establishment in 1997. The company designs for both small and large projects. These range from modest conversions and interiors, to residences and villas, to complete complexes with shops, collective housing, offices, and even industrial facilities. Hence the name 'Design, Interior and Architecture'. DIA architecten makes a point of using a personal approach and appreciates being involved in projects from A to Z.  This can even mean the selection of the building plot, up to and including the last lick of paint.

Warm minimalism and functionality

The company preferably starts with a contemporary design and a clear vision that is usually transformed into warm minimalism, along with respect for functionality. With a more traditional style, DIA architecten also succeeds in bringing the design into the 21st century. The realisation of customers’ dreams remains of essential importance. A beautiful design that does not match the build location is a poor design. The building must be functional, the user must feel at home there.
With each design DIA architecten starts from scratch. Copies of previous designs are never used as a template. So each design is unique, created in line with the customer’s requirements and specifically for the build site in question.

Flexible by cooperation

Despite DIA architecten being a small firm, it can work with great flexibility. To achieve this, it concludes co-operative ties with fellow architects, engineers, reporters, draughtsman and other service providers. DIA architecten goes in search of the right partners according to the particular needs. This ensures that the fixed cost stays low, while the architects at the firm can focus on what they really do well: design.

Tight lines, warm materials

In Kortessem DIA architecten gave Huis SYLK a new face. “Huis SYLK is the renovation of an anonymous ground floor home dating from the eighties”, says Philipppe Dreesen. “The building owner had a clear preference for a traditional style.  “We acted upon this, but still managed a transformation to a contemporary style. We did this by creating open spaces with a lot of glass and warm natural materials such as wood, natural stone, brick, natural slate, etc. Minimalist lines envelop the building.”

Kesseltse Klampsteen (a hand-moulded facing brick) shows texture

Kesseltse Klampsteen was the choice for the outside wall. “This best matched the traditional style we had in mind, says Philippe Dreesen. “It also adds the necessary texture and colour nuances. We were looking for a pale brick, but still containing sufficient traditional red clay. It was bricked in an irregular bond that gave an even more textured appearance. The brick exudes luxury and substance, an appearance that the building owner could fully identify with.”

Extra space

An extra floor was built on the existing home to obtain the space needed for a contemporary family. “To make this possible the extra weight had to be limited on the existing foundations, so it was decided to use stone strips on thick insulation and cellular concrete blocks. The insulation was also required to comply with the current EPB standard.”