Office with upstairs apartment in Oostduinkerke / BURO II & Alph’

Belgian practice BURO II sent us their latest project in collaboration with Alph’, in charge of the interiors and the furniture design.

The volume is at the head of a row of buildings, on the corner of the village square. Due to the location, its character is determined by the village square to a large extent. The designers took this into account by making the wall facing the village square completely transparent. This unique building consists of an apartment (+1), an office (0) and a partial cellar (-1). There is a separate entrance to the apartment.

The building is eye-catching without being ostentatious and is people-friendly and inviting, thanks to the scale.

section 01

The entire volume is structured by an interplay of lines in concrete, wood and aluminium window frames, which produces a feeling of rhythm and playfulness. The architecture has been enhanced by the selected materials. Architectonic visible concrete is used for the weight-bearing structure, ceilings and outer tiles. Lightness is added by the use of for the display windows, windows and dividing walls for the toilet. Massive oak and woollen felt in the interior give the building the necessary warmth in addition to their acoustic function. The oak wood structure nestles throughout the concrete construction, both horizontally (floors, laying pattern) and vertically (stairs, cupboards, doors, outer walls). Views and perspectives from inside to outside and vice versa are an intrinsic part of the architecture. Inside, the laminated display in oak forms a division between the working and public space.

Finally, solar panels on the roof provide green energy.

The strongly structured character with oak and architectonically visibly concrete which has the allure of natural stone, gives this building an air of restrained luxury. The village square and garden provide a change of mood.

Cite: "Office with upstairs apartment in Oostduinkerke / BURO II & Alph’" 26 Jun 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Jubair Siddeeque


  • Lucas Gray

    Beautiful. A simple elegant design focusing on the details instead of flashy nonsense! The folded concrete element is wonderful as is the warm wood interiors.

  • roadkill

    nice project and integrates quite well on that site… but really awful detail of structure around the stair, circular section next to the stair and I beams on the top level?! WTF why spoil it with such scrappy detail?

  • otis

    “The building is eye-catching without being ostentatious”

    I find this to be true. love it.

  • Karen

    A small building that illustrates the architectural elegance: material, details, right proportion and a warm interior.

  • ag





  • MZ

    Nice concrete house, but obviously no thermal insulation. I don´t know if the belgian climate and building regulations let such details through in the XXI century, but this definitely does not work in Germany/Switzerland/Austria. In these parts of Middle-Europe you need complicated details including expensive Isokorb thermal-elements to achieve this naked exposed concrete look. The swiss experiment nowadays with insulating light concrete with ceramic granulates, which yet more expensive and you get construction walls with 50 cm width. This is the big controversy of building with concrete: you want a raw, honest, simple, monolithic look, but you need complicated and expensive solutions to achieve thermal insulation (guilt not for regions with warm climate though).

    • Peter

      MZ, I was wondering the exact same thing. There are certainly many regulations concerning thermal insulation in Belgium. Up until about 2 years ago, they were less stringent (only K45 norm, I think, I’m no architect), so maybe this was constructed before that time.

      Otherwise, as always Buro II delivers another beautiful minimalistic building. I do wish I could let them design my next home, but they are probably a little out of my budget.

  • Phil

    friendly and simple design

  • Dariusz

    great.. fantastic.. looks a bit cold, so some warth with the wood is good !

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