In the Flemish town of Grimsburgen in Belgium, a renovation project undertaken by the Belgian practice of dmvA took an unexpected turn, resulting in a surprising conclusion. An old structure which adjoined the client’s property, once a local school, suddenly came on the market and was purchased by the client. As he had always wanted a pool in his somewhat limited garden, it was decided that the logical, if unconventional location for a pool, would be the roof of the newly acquired schoolhouse. Not only would this provide the desired level of privacy but would be in a superior position to trap all available sunlight.

The brick structure required a radical strengthening system, involving the incorporation of concrete beams, not only to support the building but also the basin of the pool. The aged brickwork was painted white both inside and out and a garden kitchen was fitted on the ground floor, the middle level becoming a multi-purpose space to be enjoyed by the family. The contrasting elements of vintage bricks and raw concrete beams add a contemporary aesthetic to the minimal interior.

Of course the star of the project is the newly designed rooftop and pool in brilliant white, set against the backdrop of the historic Grimsburgen Abbey Tower, a totally unexpected element of the urban fabric and a very well kept secret on its concealed rooftop site.