Structural Engineering: Provoost
Technical Engineering: Istema
Text description provided by the architects. This new office building along the Kortrijksesteenweg in the green Sint-Denijs-Westrem includes a notary’s office with a studio above it. The building is a solid brick volume characterized by volumetric incisions and strategically placed windows. The glass ‘lantern’ at the top of the stairwell forms a minimalist light beacon along the busy road. The front façade opens up on the ground floor through the foyer towards the street, and welcomes visitors via a forecourt. This provides a great visibility and transparency. At the rear facade both the deed halls and the offices enjoy a beautiful view on the landscaped garden with old trees.
The client’s request to have two waiting rooms adjacent to the deed halls resulted in an open plan. The patio works as a structural element to create privacy without taking away from the transparency of the plan. The concept of the interior was to exude simplicity and tranquillity. This was realised by using white as main colour. The white epoxy floor combined with accents in ash wood, floor height doors and elegant furniture create a sophisticated atmosphere.
The sunken in parking beneath the building opens up towards the garden on the same line as the back façade. This makes the parking bathe in light and makes the relation with the landscaped garden become apparent. The white foyer on the ground floor is clearly introduced in the open parking and it welcomes the visitors via this entrance.
The landscape feel of the garden was preserved by keeping the valuable old trees and was further enforced by placing hedges that integrate the parking for the personnel, by planting many rhododendrons and by implementing a trackway.
The forecourt creates an architectural promenade towards the foyer in different levels, provided with low multi-stemmed trees. The direct confrontation between the landscape garden and the office building provides an enjoyable sensation of an omitted outside- inside border.
Special attention was paid to sustainability in terms of water and material use, energy consumption, and sustainable techniques based on renewable energy. All insulation materials are sustainable through the exclusive use of resol- glass wool and cellulose. The rainwater is 50% buffered by green roofs and 50% recovered for toilets and garden maintenance. The building is very well insulated and equipped with triple solar control glazing joinery in aluminium. An electronically controlled outdoor sun protection with tilting aluminium slats stop the unnecessary solar heat. The building is heated or cooled by a performant air-water heat pump with air units and space regulation (reeling per space). The ventilation is fully mechanical with heat exchanger (system D) and only warm LED is used for the lighting.