- Architects In Charge:David Niville, David Claus, Dieter Delbaere
Text description provided by the architects. Because of its position on the corner of the Sint-Jakobstraat and the Ezelstraat in the centre of Bruges, this historical building with a former wedding shop and related sewing workshop, did not have any significant garden or outdoor space, and therefore suffered from a lack of daylight.
The owner wanted to combine a new duplex shop at street level, a duplex flat and three student rooms with a communal kitchen.
The plot was stoned, giving place to a much larger and pleasant courtyard. A new glazed staircase was introduced to organise the circulation towards the different components of the program. The staircase was made up of prefabricated white concrete slabs, inserted in a white steel structure and finished with a glazed curtain wall.
The execution was well prepared because of the complexity of the site and the busy but small road. The steel structure was developped as a series of stacked prefabricated steel cages, which could be easily transported, lifted and assembled on site.
The design aims for a high degree of durability, which is a chalenge in the historical UNESCO centre of Bruges. To preserve the original facade the insulation was placed on the inside, combined with the use of additional windows in line with the insulation.
A few simple operations provide an attractive shopping space.
Starting from the structural logics, a double heigt space is introduced in the shopat the front, providing attractive relations between the different shopping surfaces.