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Studiokhachatryan Combines Art and Architecture in New Space

Brussels-based designer Noro Khachatryan transforms an empty warehouse into a new studio and cultural arts hub.

By Rachel Gallaher, Images by Thibeau Scarcériau

As seen in Issue 58

A white room with a black steel switchback staircase in the corner.

At this creative hub in Brussels, Belgium, which houses architect Noro Khachatryan’s studio, as well as a gallery space for Harlan Levey Projects, a welded switchback staircase connects the two levels.

For the past 18 months, designer and architect Noro Khachatryan has been meticulously renovating an empty warehouse in the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, Belgium. The result—a creative hub that encompasses Khachatryan’s studio along with a new double-height exhibition and gallery space for Harlan Levey Projects—is a pared-back space that serves as a neutral backdrop for Khachatryan’s work (in addition to interior architecture, he also designs furniture and décor objects).

A large white room with a big black cloth art installation. An orange neon squiggle is painted on the wall.

"THE JACKET," an installation at Har- lan Levey Projects by Polish artist Marcin Dudek.

The building, which dates to 1890, had undergone a series of structural and interior interventions over the years, giving it, as Khachatryan says, “a sort of layering of history and techniques. At the same time, since it has always been in the same family, all the interventions were very harmonious. The goal was to preserve the building’s industrial character as much as possible, and to make it as livable, functional, and ecological as possible.”

A short gold chair against a polished concrete floor.

A chair by Khachatryan, who designs furniture and objects in addition to interior architecture.

Using materials that fit into this vernacular—steel, concrete, aluminum—the designer updated the warehouse, but was careful not to stray from its utilitarian origins (some parts were left completely untouched). The two levels are connected by a striking switchback welded staircase, and 32,000 rectangular tiles comprise the floor of Khachatryan’s studio, the open courtyard, and gallery’s office. “I hope that the ‘purified’ visual language allows viewers to bring their own specific interpretations to the work,” he says. “It is thanks to this approach that the spaces radiate a sense of peace and tranquility.”


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