The house adjoining the street (co-working) is disconnected from the industrial building (living space) by breaking down the intermediate constructions. This creates a green buffer between the two functions as an open space, which
can serve as a parking space, but mainly brings visibility, light and sun into the project for both entities. This way the south-facing facade from the house also becomes visible from the street side. The intermediate space functions not
only as a buffer but also as a collective space between the private parts.
The warehouse behind the conserved industrial building is also being demolished while retaining the structural steel elements. This as a reminder of the industrial past of the site.
The retained volumes are stripped of non-qualitative and light materials and structural defects, whereby the structure of concrete, brick and steel is preserved and completed with a new qualitative and light construction in wood and glass.
The front row house is being converted into a co-working practice, with a covered entrance passage to the rear. The ground floor is wheelchair accessible with a waiting room, toilet and a first practice room. The central stairwell provides access to the various practice rooms and kitchen on the first floor. The main building was in good condition and was only technically improved, low-cost (insulation and techniques), with limited modification of the facades.
Only the exterior joinery and the roof construction were adapted and renewed.
The 3 level high industrial building is converted into a house. The conserved sturdy structure of concrete, brick and steel becomes the enclosure of a light, transparent, contrasting, playful and organically designed volume of the house.
Indoor spaces have been withdrawn from the front facades, creating small terraces, balconies, light areas and spaces for greenery. This movement creates more privacy for residents, co-workers and local residents. The contrast and
withdrawn volume of the house also emphasizes the character of the past and the impressive central location of the volume in the inner area. On the ground floor, even the garden can be reached through the retracted volume, via a sequence of covered and uncovered outside spaces.
The main living spaces (cooking, eating, sitting) are situated on the ground floor with varying atmospheres and visual relationships. On the first floor, the rooms are oriented around a central spiral staircase. This way every space adjoins
an exterior facade, providing sun and light. The facade facing the front is oriented towards the south. Outside spaces are added, for example to the multipurpose room.
As the basic energetic concept of the building, the ‘trias energetica’ was used. The limitation of the energy demand is the most important factor. The insulated volume of the house, enclosed by the retained solid structure, ensures shading
and thermal inertia. It is constructed as a wood frame with passive insulation values. Built in ecologically legit materials: triple glazing, walls and roof with 26cm and 24cm mineral wool insulation and floor with 12cm Resol-insulation. The resulting limited energy demand does not use fossil fuels. The house is equipped with a ‘compact unit’, which provides both sanitary hot water production, heating of the rooms and ventilation. This Austrian machine is rarely used in Flanders, but is a frequent application for BLAF that is economically and ecologically very efficient.
For the limited cold periods and to optimize atmosphere and comfort, a small wood stove was provided in the living room, and an infrared mirror in the bathroom.