Huis VDH: a collaborative house in the making in Brussels

Huis VDH is an experiment with as goal to repurposing space above commercial locations to become social, culturale and technological experimental labs in the hearth of Brussels.

Huis VDH started around November 2015 when I asked Maria, owner of Bonnefooi if he could work on repurposing the space above Bonnefooi. I wanted to start an experimental process to give the three floors a new life through common principles, sustainable design and open source thinking. After talking with a few dozen of people, 5 people formed the first network.

The premise: find out through a collaborative way of work how different people can repurpose an empty space an share own project and collective ones to better the way we live in Brussels. We took inspiration out of Fablabs, Livinglabs, coworking space and are testing out every tool they are proposing to see which ones fit in this space.

On the long term we want to become an example that can be reproduced in any space above a shop in Brussels. And the numbers are in our favour, cause as much as (fill number here) is inaccessible but also unused space that could bring a maker and creative community back to the city center.

At this point we are 6 months further and have a working core team with a broth network of all kind of social, cultural and technological organizations around us. Huis VDH has already a few projects in his pipeline and funded her own restoration of some parts of the first and third room

We want to know if some people of the Edgeryder community in Brussels would be interested to have a look or talk around the project. We are an open space where all participants have a saying on what is coming. We meet every week for an hour, feel welcome!


Sounds really interesting

Hi Yannick,

This all sounds really exciting and interesting. Definitely interested to hear how things progress. This is very much my kind of thing.

I’m not a Brussels person at the moment, (still in the UK) but i’m looking at moving out to the mainland for a few years and Brussels is on my list to live in for a while.


thanks, feel free to come check it out

Hey Alex, thanks for the enthousiastic response. Come have a look when you pass by Brussels, will post an update when our first few projects were done!

In Brussels

Hi Yannick,

I’m over in Brussels for a week or 2 from Monday 8th August.

Nadia and Alberto are very kindly accommodating me during that time but i would love to have a look around Huis VDH whilst i’m in the city.

From your interest in the Culture Team and your feedback on my care/arts projects it seems like there are areas of mutual interest that we could explore through discussion. If you’re looking for new participants and collaborators at the space that would be very much in my area of interest.

Let me know when next week might be a good time to meet up.


let’s meet

Hello Alex,

Let me know when you will have time next week and i will be happy to show you around the house and discuss more about Culture/care links. See you soon

wednesday or thursday

Either day is good for me.

Let me know which you would prefer and what time suits you best,


Very interesting


I don’t know if you saw  this post about how we live in the City. What you describe is something  along the lines of what I was hoping to find or build in Brussels. I’m interested, when and where are the next meetings?

Wednesday from 18h30 to 19h30

Hey @Nadia

We have an open meeting called check in check out every wednesday between 18h30 and 19h30 or i can show around and explain more ib detail somewhere next week if you want. It is above bonnefooi

Interested too!

I will probably drop by next week. Thanks for the heads up.

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if you want to come by

@alberto and @nadia if you want to come by, you have to go to the first floor of bonnefooi and i will put a note on the door so you can contact me. we are sometimes on the third floor so we don’t always hear the people who want to come :slight_smile: no bell yet

Merci - see you next week!

What does Huis VDH stand from?

“Pronounced : Huis in Dutch and VDH in French”. Does the name mean something?

Huis Van Den Haute

hey @noemi the name stands for Huis Van Den Haute, and it was the name of the old lady living in it. She was a rare specimen is what you could say about her. The house was filled with stuff all arranged in self made drawers in every room. She was really inventive in what she did, but her hording was a bit much :stuck_out_tongue:

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I think I can picture it :slight_smile:

Nice hommage. Look forward to seeing this come to life, and regret not being in Bxl. Very rare I see such public invitations to projects in-the-very-making when assets are concerned, it makes one route for it even more. kudos, Yannick and team!

Sounds great @Yannick.

For the next I guess I’m not around Brussel. (but who knows ^^)

But in any case I’ve sended the mail to @beata (part of yunity). She’s working and living there.

And I just would like to know how the interest is in using a legal framework which created an assosiation with the purpose of “owning” the object so that the house can never be sold again to stop speculation.

Are you in tomorrow?

Ciao Yannick,

Are you in the space tomorrow. I would love to drop in now that I am finally really in town again.

Also just had a big idea and thought maybe you might be interested in collaborating around it? I made a first attempt to put it down in writing  here.

Not in town this week

Hey @nadir

I m not in town this week. But next week I will be there we can meet then, will in between read your article.

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Some progress: A little research

Yannick thanks for showing me around the space, it’s beautiful and there is so much potential. During our conversation we discussed 1) Gentrification and power in urban environments 2) Fair social contracts 3) Building sustainability into the project

So I did a bit of “open” research into some relevant examples from which we can learn as we co-design develop the practicals for the space

Relevant projects and prototypes: