- Design Team:Declerck – Daels, Declerck – Daels, Architecten
- Clients:Group Monument
- Engineering:Jan Hoste
- Collaborators:Group Monument
Text description provided by the architects. Group Monument is the most important Belgian group of building companies engaging in the renovation and restoration of buildings of art historical value. Restoring monuments is both an art and a science. You step into a world where the past and the present intersect. The basic qualities required are a sympathetic understanding of the construction methods of the past, coupled with a comprehensive knowledge of contemporary construction techniques.
This can be read on the website of Group Monument. Their motto is “Restoring the glory”. Group Monument enjoys a worldwide reputation for its approach to heritage. They demonstrated their savoir-faire on their home base in Ingelmunster. The offices are situated behind a “semi-detached mansion in an eclectic regionalist style” built in 1925. The two gallant facades of the front part of the house are original. But the back part of the house was mismatched during later functional renovations.
Group Monument wanted to restore the grandeur of that house. Above all, the house had to become a multifunctional place for all employees, with a refectory, a bar, a relaxation room, lounges, and a terrace, with showers and with 2 guest rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a classy meeting room. We called it “MonumenThuis”. (“Monument” + “Thuis” which is Dutch for “Home”)
The renovation demonstrates craftsmanship. The rear facades were cladded with green pre-patinated copper lozenges. A unique application, assembled by our own workers. This is combined with a sober light gray facade plaster system. It hides the anachronistic renovation, thus creating a soft contrast between old and new. The building is now prettier, more functional, and cozier. It is representative of their approach to restoration and renovation.
Old and new are reconciled in the interior. The neo-Flemish renaissance and neo-baroque elements, such as parquet and boiserie, floors, beams, decoration, and fireplaces are combined with warm curtains, wooden furniture, stark lighting, and traditional floor tiles. It is a sophisticated harmony of colors and materials, down to the smallest details. This results in a rich experience and a special atmosphere. The history resurrects and the building is now future-proof. It was the architects' intention to create a really cosy place. Not to recreate a house, but to create a Home (“Thuis” in Dutch) … for everyone at Group Monument. “MonumenThuis.”An ode to the craftsman.