When defining the assignment, we realised that it would be best to incorporate the entire office on the ground floor so that employees could work together more efficiently and in order to make the office more accessible for all tenants, especially older people who were no longer as fit as they used to be. In view of the excellent location in the city centre, the other floors were then suitable for use as rented social housing apartments. With this in mind, the waste ground next to the building, was also purchased.
The offices with a representative function were incorporated in the ground floor of the old house, and directly connected with a new landscape office in the back. A large meeting table was placed in the spacious front room. This space will also be used as a new meeting room for the board of directors.
The room at the back, which becomes an integral part of the front room when the large door in between is opened, will be the director’s room. The small room on the street side to the left of the corridor will be furnished as a work/consultation room. It was decided to break down all the outbuildings as they were in poor condition and provided an obstacle to using the main building properly.
In order to design the new landscape office as a well-organised whole, all supporting services were bundled together into one entity to form an acoustic buffer between the office and the visitors’ entrance. As well as housing the kitchen, storeroom, toilets and photocopying corner, this area also includes both information counters, designed as separate consultation rooms.
The uneven configuration of the wall that is shared with the adjacent furniture store was used to create extra storage space, a cloakroom and a rolling archive. The landscape office has two spacious inner courtyard gardens that bring greenery and nature to the working environment, providing it with sufficient sun and natural light. It is possible to sit and eat outside in nice weather.
Rented social housing flats were built on the upper floors of the old house. The old open staircase was removed and replaced by a stairwell that complies with current fire brigade standards. The first floor contains a type 2/3 flat (2 bedrooms for a maximum occupancy of 3 people) and a balcony on the street side. The second floor also has a type 2/3 apartment, adapted to fit with the old building. The attic level contains a small type 1/2 apartment with a small patio at the back.
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