The drying sheds on the ‘Tuileries du Littoral’ site in Kortrijk were established in 1924 by Ernest Dumolin. The residual heat of the tile works’ baking ovens was pushed through a two-layered floor into the hangars where the pressed and wet roof tiles were dried. This principle was widely copied in many foreign countries. In the mid-sixties, the sheds were replaced by modern installations.
This place is a lieu de mémoire (site of memory). People have lived and worked here, and have consequentially become attached to the architecture and its surroundings. The visual impact of this ‘near-ruins’ on the landscape becomes the architectural motivation to preserve this industrial heritage in its pristine splendour. By placing a steel bracing structure in the sheds, and thus ensuring their stability, it became possible to give the building a new purpose.
The conservation of the building, the choice of a precise colour scheme, the custom-made window frames, and the recessed new window frames, reconcile the ruin’s history with its new function. Incidentally, the original windows were not designed to man-size height and a standard floor level in the building takes up one and a half story. The connection with this building is so intense, that the Koramic-Terca-Wienerberger group will again relocate its offices to this heritage-rich location.