3099 - Roof Top Farm

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British ambassadors are regular tea guests at the residence of Jan and Kristina Engles-Verbeke. “The last three have visited. I think the garden reminds them of England,” says Jan, an antiques enthusiast and importer of electrical appliances. He is referring to the couple’s roof terrace, a 320sq m city farm on top of a five-storey building in the heart of Antwerp’s Old Port district. The decision to design a farm in the city centre was born of compromise. “We had two young children, and couldn’t decide whether to relocate to the countryside or stay in Antwerp,” says Jan. For many of us the outcome of this dilemma is a roof terrace squeezed between two chimney pots. But the Engels-Verbekes had a grander plan. Crucially they also had the wherewithal and real estate to realise it. Writer adam.mornement@virgin.net

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