LocationAartrijkestraat 11, 8820 Torhout, Belgium
Structural EngineerLaurent Ney & Partners
Technical EngineerStudiebureau Boydens
Landscaping designDenis Dujardin
Text description provided by the architects. The building embodies itself as a pavilion in between the city park and the public space. The involvement on the public space is fundamental since in that way the other public functions, being the residential care center St-Augustinus, the OCMW administration and the firehouse, correlate together on the Aartrijkestraat.
The design visually lifts itself up from the ground creating a vast covered outdoor space, where all sorts of common activities can take place. The glazed convex shape on the ground floor forms a diffuse transition between park and building. The public outdoor space becomes a public indoor place.
The functionalities of the imposed program are situated in a compact concentric plan: a strictly geometric and square shape in which the atrium forms the heart of the building. This atrium is an open plan area which spatially connects all floors and allows light to reach down to the ground floor.
Situated on the ground floor are the reception, the secretariat and an exhibition space. The first floor contains the public accessible functions and their workspaces: Finances, Civil Affairs, Leisure and Space (spatial planning). On the second floor you find the non-public functions: the offices of the Mayor and Aldermen, Internal Affairs, ICT, Human Resources and several technical rooms.
Energetically we strived for a leading, top performing office building with optimal ventilation, individual temperature controlled spaces and a good control of the indoor temperature during the summer.
Therefore the building has central heating which is powered by a heat pump and a BTES-system (Borehole Thermal Energy Storage). We use concrete core activation as primary heating and convectors as a secondary heating source. The ground floor uses floor heating and throughout the entire building there is a ventilation system D with heat recuperation. All ductwork is placed underneath a raised floor.
Construction, technical equipment and architecture are formed into one cohesive whole and where all designed together, right from the start.