Architects: Govaert & Vanhoutte Architects
- Year: 2011
Manufacturers: Alfa CT, Bouwgroep VandeWalle
Text description provided by the architects. Somewhere in between the misty meadows of Nevele, on the corner of a newly developed business compound, lies the company of San Martino in the form of a long concrete volume.
San Martino is a fashion house that styles several clothing brands, develops collections and organises logistics towards specialised clothing shops, inside and across the Belgium border. On the ground floor the building contains office space for administration and development, two showrooms, a dispatching area, and a hangar for storage. On the first floor there is a third showroom with storage and a series of multifunctional spaces for holding receptions, meeting with clients, developing the collections, etc. The open spaces on the first floor are organised around a central patio, making it a bright flexible whole that embrace the possibility of new functions towards the future.
The compact nature of the building, the excessive use of isolation, the blocking of the sun by using canopies and vertical concrete slabs, the low energy consuming heating & ventilation & lighting design all contribute to the fact that this is a Co2 neutral building.
Sitting on the corner of the compound, the building is directed towards the acces road as well as the entry road of the compound.
Towards the entry road, the building is fully transparent, allowing a visual contact with the outside and allowing a maximum of light to interact with for the office space on the ground floor, and the multifunctional areas on the first floor. The ground floor is inclined towards the first floor in order to avoid the south sun from heating up the office space
The side of the building has a more semi-transparent character, allowing only a glimpse to be seen of the showrooms behind. A series of concrete slabs form the skin of a deeper lying glass façade. In between the access road and the fragmented wall, a buffer of a miscellaneous tree formation incorporate the building in its surroundings. The fragmented wall is in fact a projection of this tree formation. Approaching the building from the access road, the same patterns of the miscellaneous trees in front are to be seen in the concrete skin. This principal refers to the techniques that are being applied for developing new textures & patterns in fashion.