Text description provided by the architects. The ‘Co-center’ was built in the early ’20s as a cooperative building. Due to mismanagement, it went into deterioration. The historical commonplace gradually became a city cancer, hidden in a residential block. This heritage was very particular. A combination of industrial architecture, with a richly decorated facade, and an inner courtyard. Construction partners combined their expertise for the realization of 57 assisted living apartments and 2 apartments with common facilities.
The structural interventions were not the least. Building parts were broken out to bring in light. Floorplates were removed and replaced to align the different levels. All roofs were renewed, structures strengthened, dilapidated volumes were demolished. The buildings were stripped to the bare essentials. The respect for the heritage was great. The industrial brick architecture around the inner courtyard was restored and the impressive chimney was rebuild. The faded soul gradually returned. The unique site became attractive again. The heritage is now futureproofed.
According to the architect and builder, this renovation is an example of sustainability. After all, demolition would generate too much waste. The context was valorized and improved. Walls, floors and roofs are now thermally insulated, and all technical installations have been renewed. It is a compact and energy-friendly building with a small ecological footprint. Almost energy neutral.
BIM was used to maintain an overview of the complexity. Both in the design phase and during the construction. But the main purpose is the comfort of the residents. Integral accessibility, reliable techniques, and acoustic and thermal comfort are essential for the elderly. And they even get much more, because the designers added a unique experience. The architectural walk through the building leads you through past and future, with ever-changing impressions and views. No 2 assisted living apartments are the same, because the impressions and perspectives are different each time. The whole project is spacious with fascinating views of the surroundings, the inner courtyard, and gardens.
Comfort also includes excellent service and care. The residents have a cafeteria, a hairdressing salon, a laundry, and a fitness room and there are many meeting places. Everyone must feel at home and safe!
The new architectural elements are mainly white-colored. The distinctive passerels and footbridges are eyecatchers. White metal matches the bricks, and also the shades of gray of concrete and cementation and plaster. The designers wanted to highlight the patina. The new brick surfaces and volumes fit into this color palette as well. This also applies to the newly built tower of 5 stacked assisted living apartments along the Alfons Pieterslaan.
The execution of this complex reconversion in an enclosed building block proceeded in a good relationship with the numerous neighbors. At least they are rid of the degenerated building they looked on. This intervention is a catalyst for the upgrade of the entire district.
The designers took full advantage of the genius loci. A hidden gem on the coast, with a turbulent history and a carefree future.
Co became Coost.