A Creative Dreamworld Complete With Neon Rooms and a Tropical Garden

An artist and an architect build their home, studios, and an exhibition space inside an Antwerp warehouse.
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"It was a disaster, but a disaster with potential." That’s how Texan artist Tim Stokes describes his first impression of the home he now shares with his French architect wife, Nathalie Wolberg. Located in a former red-light area near the port of Antwerp, the ramshackle old warehouse building had been, until recently, occupied by an import and export office, and 1960s additions had camouflaged the original fabric and negated any good features. "Everything was covered in acoustic-panel cladding; you couldn’t see any brick, concrete, or skylights," Tim says, referring to the most distinctive characteristics of the now-renovated building, with its lofty light- and art-filled spaces and lush interior garden. "Back then, the courtyard was filled with 12 tall pine trees, which made everything dark and gloomy," he recalls.

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Jane Szita
Amsterdam-based contributing editor Jane Szita took the train to Ghent–three hours away, but a very different Franco-Flemish culture.


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