In the centre of Sint-Niklaas in the Belgian province of East Flanders, just a stone's throw from the Grote Markt, two terraced houses and a commercial property have been converted into an apartment block – and very successfully too, as is obvious to anyone who has seen the finished structure. The success of the design was based on two factors: the unfavourable position of the building and the talent of architect Bas Wauman, who, together with Duco Ventilation & Sun Control, turned this into an advantage.
The challenge when drafting the plans for the new building was to ensure that all residents of the apartment block would benefit from maximum comfort. This was by no means a given, however. “The living areas within this block, which is made up of seven apartments, are south facing and look out directly onto the street. As all the apartments would also incorporate large areas of glazing to allow sufficient light in, privacy for residents was an area of concern”, says architect Bas Wauman.
DucoSlide: maximum privacy and solar shading An additional problem associated with a glass façade is that the indoor temperature can soar during the warm and sunny summer months. The architects therefore made a conscious decision to work with Duco. After all, the natural ventilation and solar shading systems manufactured by Duco are total solutions that guarantee a healthy, comfortable and energy-efficient indoor climate. Bas Wauman and Duco considered the options and soon decided in favour of DucoSlide. This form of architectural solar shading has been used not only on the first floor, but also on the second and third floors.
“Installing this external solar shading system with aluminium sliding panels in front of the glazing means the sun's rays do not get a chance to heat up the interior directly. In this way Duco keeps the temperature inside the building down in a natural and energy-efficient way, but without blocking out daylight”, explains Wauman. “DucoSlide also ensures maximum privacy by screening off the glazed areas, while maintaining the view outside, over the Grote Markt. It's great that one product can provide solutions to a number of different issues!”
Aluminium sliding panels provide an aesthetically pleasing solution DucoSlide also adds value to the façade of the building from an aesthetic point of view. “To soften the strong lines of the façade, we decided to work with sliding panels. The slim and robust frame profile, light weight, fine louvre blades and aluminium colour of the panels, which perfectly complements the colour of the building, have made this apartment block a real eye-catcher. Partly thanks to Duco, this new construction project in the centre of Sint-Niklaas has become a top-drawer architectural masterpiece and offers all residents the best possible comfort, as well as a healthy and energy-efficient indoor climate”, the architect concludes.