Location: Schoten, Belgium
Design Team: Dirk Somers, Erik Wieërs, Pieter Eeckeloo, Sarah Poot, Peter Wils, Annelien Grandry and Christophe Van Boxtel
Area: 2,480 sqm
Photographs: Filip Dujardin
Client: Gemeente Schoten, Johan Hoskens
Structural Engineer: Arcadis Gedas NV
From the architect. The police station designed for the municipality of Schoten is a study in informality and approachability. It begins at the urban design level. Instead of highhandedly appropriating its spot, the police station places itself at the service of public space. The L-shaped building is pushed back to the rearmost edge of the large plot available and helps to define a new square.
When you enter the building, you walk into a space dominated by two atria, visually linked to each other. One is accesible to the public and contains an open reception desk, the other is in use as a staff canteen. The athmosphere of openness is further enhanced by a footbridge visible to visitors and numerous views through to workplaces.
The choice of materials also helps to create informality. High-grade materials have been avoided, everything has been built from concrete blocks and wood. A saving has also been made on technical installation: the ambient condition indoors are regulated via natural ventilation.