WORK_ a seaside home by Edith Macken

It’s been quiet here lately, so I thought I’d share a little bit of what I’ve been up to.  A few weeks ago I shot a project by interior architect Edith Macken, who designed the renovation of a typical seaside home for two book lovers.  The result is a calm space filled with seaside colors, beautiful details and – of course – lots of interesting books.    Have a look at her website or instagram if you want to see more of Edith Macken’s work!

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EXPLORED_ bar copine in Lokeren

When it comes to interesting cities in Belgium, Lokeren might not be the first one that pops into your mind, but there is one place that makes a visit to this Flemish city worth a visit.  At Bar Copine, located on Lokeren’s main square, you can find anything from interior accessories furniture to delicacies, care products and fashion.  However, Bar Copine is not only a shopping destination, here you can also stop by for a cup of coffee, a piece of cake and a healthy lunch or breakfast.  When they asked me to shoot their new interior, designed by Man architecten, and their menu, I got the chance to try some of their dishes and let me tell you: these dishes not only look splendid, they taste absolutely delicious as well.  Bar Copine is not only a dream come true for its owner Kim, but it is dreamy on its own, dressed in pastel hues, terrazzo and dashes of gold.  So, next time you’re in the neighborhood of Lokeren and you’re in need of caffeine, something new or a meal… you know Bar Copine is the place you’re looking for!

Bar Copine, Markt 71, 9160 Lokeren - website - facebook - instagram - pinterest

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WORK_ Model House by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh


Last week I visited Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s exhibition “Sections” at Valerie Traan, where I came across Model House, a piece they initially made for the Atelier à Habiter exhibition at Z33 in 2013, and models of their installations Labyrinth and Reading between the lines.  I realized I never shared the photos I took of Model House on the blog, so I wanted to do so now and at the same time encourage you to go see Sections for yourself at Valerie Traan.    If you’d like to know more about Model House, which depicts a typical Flemish “fermette” that’s in the process of being demolished from the bottom up, you should have a look at Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s artist talk here.  (Only in Dutch though.) 

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WORK_ Terra


“Terra” was one of the winning entries of the SPACES competition for the Interior Biennale of Kortrijk 2016.  TRANS aimed to gather people around food and thus designed a simple rectangular bar made out of concrete and wood, where mushrooms take the center stage.  I was asked by TRANS to photograph their bar and was quite impressed with their work and they way the public interacted with it.  Passersby seemed to be drawn to the field of mushrooms and stopping to smell them was no exceptional behavior.

Speaking of work, I’ve recently decided to take a little break from working in architecture and focus on my photography, interior projects and the blog instead.  I’m really excited about this new turn (and a little nervous I’ll admit) and I can’t wait to see how this evolves… Stay tuned!

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WORK_ Balenmagazijn by TRANS

WORK_ Balenmagazijn by TRANS - Hannelore Veelaert via au pays des merveilles

Office for architecture and urban planning TRANS has asked me several times to document their Balenmagazijn project, from when it was still under construction to when it was finished with its reflective extension on the roof.   This former warehouse will now host a canteen, offices and meeting rooms that can be used by the businesses located on the UCO site in Ghent.  Seeing this project come to life (I was working at the office as a trainee when this project existed only as a maquette) has been a pleasure, so after giving you a peek into their studio in this blogpost, I wanted to share this project with you as well.  For more info about TRANS, take a look at their website.

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WORK_ Trans architectuur & stedenbouw

WORK_ Trans - Hannelore Veelaert for au pays des merveilles - 1476

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my commissioned work, so today I wanted to give you a peek into the atelier of TRANS architectuur & stedenbouw, a Ghent based office for architecture and urban planning.  What you can expect?  White walls, lots of light, a big collection of inspiring books, an overload of schemes, plans and photos on the walls and a familiar face at work.  Curious for the projects of TRANS?  Take a look at their website here or keep an eye on the blog!

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WORK_ Canopy by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

canopy gijs van vaerenbergh - by hannelore veelaert via au pays des merveilles-35

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been working as an architectural photographer since a few years.  The first office I photographed for was Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, a duo that creates fascinating work, balancing between art and architecture.  One example of their more artistic work is the Hatching installation for Existenz Maximum in Leuven (see the photos here), while the projects featured in this blogpost categorize as architecture.  The two canopies in this blogpost are part of a series of 10, built on cemeteries in the Heist-op-den-Berg area in Flanders, offering shelter and a space to gather for ceremonies.

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WORK_ Omgeving

omgeving - by hannelore veelaert via au pays des merveilles-5

Since the end of last year, I’ve been working as an architectural photographer for Omgeving, an office specialized in architecture, landscape and urbanism.  The first project I photographed for them is this social housing renovation in Mechelen.  I shot a lot of interesting shadows and reflections that made very graphic compositions.  As these are one of my favorite things to photograph, I wanted to share the result here as well.

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WORK_ Espiga

Espiga - Hannelore Veelaert & Lies Mertens - via au pays des merveilles

Recently, graphic designer Lies Mertens and I collaborated on the identity of jewelry brand Espiga.  This brand started as a school project by 5 young women, who created a piece of jewelry that is more than meets the eye.  This 3D printed geometric pendant contains a piece of felt that can hold a perfume up to three days, much longer than the skin does.  It’s the ideal solution if you’re allergic to perfume or if you want your favorite bottle of perfume to last a little bit longer.

Lies and I created a new logo and a lookbook, shot at Kornél (with the beautiful artwork by Mayken Craenen in the background) with two of the brands’ founders as models.  The yellow table top at Kornél inspired us to use this color throughout the entire branding and the presentation we prepared for them, which landed them the price for presentation with the strongest impact at the Vlajo finals.  Hooray for us!

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WORK_ Ella De Vos for Madame Seguin

ella de vos for madame seguin - by hannelore veelaert - aupaysdesmerveillesblog-21

A few weeks ago I headed to the Dutch coast for a photoshoot with Ella De Vos, a young textile designer who creates beautiful cashmere knitwear.  Last year I already photographed some of her work, and recently I shot Ella’s collection of bridal knitwear for Madame Seguin.  The collection, entirely produced in Mongolia, exists out of primarily white stoles and cardigans with delicate detailing and textures.  It offers a different take on traditional bridal cover ups, but is wearable in everyday life as well.

The beautiful dunes and sea at Vrouwenpolder formed the perfect backdrop to capture this collection in all it’s delicate glory and we’re all really proud to share the result.  Have a look!

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WORK_ Whiz

whiz recordings by hannelore veelaert via au pays des merveilles

A few months ago, Whiz (former Roadburg and The Galacticos) invited me into their studio to take some photos while they were recording their album with Koen Gisen (also known as An Pierlé’s White Velvet).  Somehow I didn’t get around sharing these photos, but this seemed like the perfect timing to introduce them on the blog.  Now that the festival season started, the band is doing a few concerts so head on over to their facebook page for more info.  To give you a sense of what they sound like, the boys have composed a playlist of their musical heroes, which you can find at the bottom of this post.

By the way, this is exactly the kind of photography job that I love: people doing their thing while I can observe and try to capture the atmosphere.  (The space being dark and quite small, it wasn’t the easiest task with the limited material I have, but in the end it didn’t turn out so bad.)  I can’t wait to have more time on my hands again to photograph!  Chop chop, back to work now.

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futur, architecten achtergael by hannelore veelaert

It’s still crazy busy here, which explains the lack of updates on the blog.  My thesis deadline is coming closer, and in between I’m mostly trying to take time to catch up with friends, work on photography jobs and attend a few exciting blogging events.  (More on those later, but if you want to stay up to date, you can follow me on instagram.)  Speaking of photography jobs, the past months I’ve been shooting buildings all over Flanders and Brussels for an engineering office.  I’ve selected a few of my favorites to show here on the blog and updated my portfolio.  If you want to know more about the projects I photographed, you can hover over the photo to find out the architect.

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textile by ella de vos, photography by hannelore veelaert

A while ago, I collaborated with Ella De Vos, a young textile designer from Antwerp.  Her friend Nathalie joined us early on a Sunday morning and together we went to the left bank of Antwerp to brave the cold and shoot her delicate designs, consisting of intricately knit scarves and sweaters.  Later we warmed ourselves in the apartment of a friend, before shooting again on his rooftop and on his terrace, with the central station and the city of Antwerp as a backdrop.

This shoot was a bit of an experiment for all three of us, I had never worked with a model before, Nathalie had no real modeling experience and Ella never worked with a photographer before either.  On top of that, I shot these photos on film, making it extra hard to judge whether or not we were doing a good job.  In the end, it all worked out just fine.  The weather was absolutely amazing that day and even though it was extremely cold so early in the morning, the light around sunrise was absolutely breathtaking.  I’m very pleased with the result and the fun day we had, so I’m excited to do this more often in the future!   Therefore I’ve created a portfolio for my photography, where you can find more of my work.  If you’re interested to collaborate, you can find my contact details there.

Ella De Vos’ collection is sold under the name Madame Seguin, more info and selling points here.

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hatching by gijs van vaerenbergh via au pays des merveilles

One thing I didn’t show you in yesterday’s post about this year’s Existenz week, is this installation called ‘Hatching’ by architects Gijs Van Vaerenbergh.  Together with the students from Existenz, they designed and executed this installation at one of the floors of the old Stella Artois bottling plant.  For more information, a really cool video of the construction and more photos (by me!), you can take a look here.

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