From historic Chapel to coworking space

Klaarchitectuur inserts its new architecture studio inside an old Belgian chapel

by Rossana Vinci
22

No more dull and unimaginative offices!

Belgian architects Klaarchitectuur have renovated a 17th century chapel in Sint-Truiden into a dynamic coworking space: The Waterdog.

 

First and foremost the new Klaarchitectuur's architecture office, the building is whether a residential, retail and office space, besides being also a state-of-the-art workspace where working almost becomes a spiritual experience.

Courtesy of Ⓒ Klaarchitectuur Architecture Firm

 

 

One of the most important requirements at the start of the design process was to reopen the historic building to the wider public, so that it is possible to host a wide range of events.

Due to the chapel’s status as a pre-existent building, the renovation project was bound by several limitations, for instance, it was vital the historical character of the building remained intact.

This was achieved by erecting a brand-new construction at the heart of the chapel, completely separate from the old building. The new rectilinear volumes stand in sharp contrast with the old in its full glory, which walls still tell the story of its past.

Ph. © Toon Grobet

Ph. © Toon Grobet

 

 

In the new boxes, monochrome meeting rooms and casual work areas are connected by black metal staircases; on the upper levels, occupants are given a close-up view of the chapel's exposed wooden roof beams.

 

Ph. © Toon Grobet

Ph. © Toon Grobet

Ph. © Toon Grobet

 

 

In the other areas of the chapel, oak parquet was used to create a flooring with a touch of warmth, while spherical pendants Flos lights were suspended from the ceiling.

The architects also added metallic decor details, in reference to Christian iconography,  as the gold-toned breakfast bar in the kitchen, which sits underneath the chapel's dome, is specifically meant to resemble a traditional altar.

 

Ph. © Toon Grobet

 

 

 

All photos by © Toon Grobet

 

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    The Waterdog

    Sint-Truiden / Belgium / 2016