LocationKennedypark, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium
Budget€ 50 000 000
From the architect. Technology giant Barco officially moves into its new Kortrijk campus. The new headquarters, ‘The Circle’, is the crowning jewel. The circular, transparent icon takes centre stage on the campus, with the goal of connecting the Barco employees and visitors with each other. Jean-Michel Jaspers, CEO at Jaspers-Eyers: “The building just is really dynamic, and gives Barco the appearance it deserves.”
Barco needed a centralised infrastructure because the distance between the sites in Kortrijk and Kuurne was getting to be too much for the employees. This centralising structure has been located next to the existing corporate buildings in Kortrijk, close to the E17. The new campus’s crowning jewel is ‘The Circle’, Barco’s new headquarters. With a diameter of 75 metres and a height of 25 metres, this monumental building can be seen from far and wide.
‘The Circle’ will house offices, research and development spaces, demonstration spaces, an auditorium and a company restaurant. The building’s main purpose is to serve as a space for Barco’s employees and visitors to interact. This was achieved through the centralised layout of the site, in which corridors link the building with The Lab (a research lab), The Pulse (an additional office building), and The Engine (an expansion of the existing production units).
“The interior design also contributes to the social function,” explains John Eyers, CEO at Jaspers-Eyers. “The unique rounded shapes and the internal connections ensure that employees bump into each other more often and create an active ambiance. The oval-shaped ‘meeting decks’ stand out, appearing to float in the space. Passerelles to the fixed cores of the building balance the structure and ensure a constant level of activity.”
‘The Circle’ gets the maximum amount of daylight and transparency thanks to the completely glass façade. The clear glass contrasts beautifully with the inset ramp, that adds relief and depth to the building. Three horizontal rows of coffering run along the other sides to provide protection from the sun. In addition to this, the extensive cooling system provides pleasant temperatures within the glass circle.
Standard-bearer for our own products
The outer parts of the inner volumes are finished with a taut banner, which creates a sleek, even surface with lovely curves. “In the future, Barco will be able to project images on these surfaces using its own technology. This is how the company wants to turn the new building into the standard-bearer for its own high-tech products,” says Bruno Poelman, project leader at Jaspers-Eyers.