Negronis al fresco in the Belgian winter? A KE pergola makes it happen

Hasselt, Belgium – In the Belgian province of Limburg, the weather throughout the year is relatively mild, but it is rarely, shall we say, exceedingly warm. In the province's capital, Hasselt, locals and visitors can still stroll during the winter, albeit bundled up, amongst the traditional masonry houses, smart boutiques and art galleries that adorn the city centre. If they're feeling a bit peckish, they can also wander beyond the irregular geometric façade of a contemporary brasserie called the Theatercafe.

Here's why: the spot, which serves breakfast, brunch and informal dinners, features a generous outdoor terrace that, embellished with bright planters and modern outdoor furniture, needed only a modicum of intelligently applied enclosure to bring it into service year-round.

The Theatercafe brasserie is situated on the ground floor of a modern building. Three 5 x 5 m modules of the Gennius Isola 2 pergola were placed side-by-side and can be opened one-by-one.

To increase the number of seats and stop having to worry about variations in weather throughout either the summer or winter, the brasserie's owners turned to KE Outdoor Design Solutions. They commissioned KE Boflex, the local retailer of the Italian bespoke outdoor coverings brand, to create a versatile shading solution that would accomplish these functional goals while also complementing the minimal architectural style of the café building itself. The clients also asked KE to imagine a sheltered area – an 'island of well-being' in any season – that would increase the comfort of covered seating, provide guests with a pleasant atmosphere capable of shifing from day to night, and give staff an easy way to open and close the space.

The arched roof of the Isola 2 is made from gray Soltis fabric. By installing high glass parapets with integrated benches, the brasserie was able to fit a maximum number of seats.

To check all these boxes and embrace an area of 75 sq m, KE selected its pergola, the Gennius Isola 2, which offered the virtues of having clean, minimal lines and a particularly low, arched roof. The team decided to range three of these modules, in a black inver colorway with gray Soltis fabric, side by side. Above diners seated on the terrace, the roofs of each pergola can be opened individually – as well as quickly and easily, using Vertika Gennius rollers – in order to modulate the amount of light and ventilation entering at various times of day.

KE also suggested the installation of glass parapets along the perimeter of the terrace, supplemented with benches and narrow green flower beds that also help to define its boundaries. Inside this perimeter, the team also integrated a dimmable series of LED lights to give the space a soft evening ambience that sets the tone for convivial aperitifs and dining.

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