Technology giant Barco officially moves into its new Kortrijk campus. The new headquarters, ‘The Circle’, is the crowning jewel. The circular, transparent icon takes centre stage on the campus, with the goal of connecting the Barco employees and visitors with each other. Jean-Michel Jaspers, CEO at Jaspers-Eyers: “The building just is really dynamic, and gives Barco the appearance it deserves.”
Barco needed a centralised infrastructure because the distance between the sites in Kortrijk and Kuurne was getting to be too much for the employees. This centralising structure has been located next to the existing corporate buildings in Kortrijk, close to the E17. The new campus’s crowning jewel is ‘The Circle’, Barco’s new headquarters. With a diameter of 75 metres and a height of 25 metres, this monumental building can be seen from far and wide.
‘The Circle’ will house offices, research and development spaces, demonstration spaces, an auditorium and a company restaurant. The building’s main purpose is to serve as a space for Barco’s employees and visitors to interact. This was achieved through the centralised layout of the site, in which corridors link the building with The Lab (a research lab), The Pulse (an additional office building), and The Engine (an expansion of the existing production units).
Active ambiance “The interior design also contributes to the social function,” explains John Eyers, CEO at Jaspers-Eyers. “The unique rounded shapes and the internal connections ensure that employees bump into each other more often and create an active ambiance. The oval-shaped ‘meeting decks’ stand out, appearing to float in the space. Passerelles to the fixed cores of the building balance the structure and ensure a constant level of activity.”
Light ‘The Circle’ gets the maximum amount of daylight and transparency thanks to the completely glass façade. The clear glass contrasts beautifully with the inset ramp, that adds relief and depth to the building. Three horizontal rows of coffering run along the other sides to provide protection from the sun. In addition to this, the extensive cooling system provides pleasant temperatures within the glass circle. Standard-bearer for our own products The outer parts of the inner volumes are finished with a taut banner, which creates a sleek, even surface with lovely curves. “In the future, Barco will be able to project images on these surfaces using its own technology. This is how the company wants to turn the new building into the standard-bearer for its own high-tech products,” says Bruno Poelman, project leader at Jaspers-Eyers.
In this dynamic project, the Barco Campus, the look is defined by shape and colour.
Axalta powder coating were applied on various metal components throughout the building, inside and out.
On the inside the structure are manufactured by Beddeleem, 2 colours from The Matt Collection were applied Traffic White AE300C9901620 & Traffic Grey A AE30017704220.
The outside component of the building were manufactured by Belgometal and Reynaers Aluminium with White Aluminium 9006, AE30217008225 and AE30217900620 in a matt finish.
360 Degrees of Light
Transparency is the central theme for “The Circle”, the new headquarters of Belgian technology giant Barco. Designed by Jaspers-Eyers Architects, the glass façade and roof systems form a skin around the circular building’s open plan interior and central atrium space, where daily activities are illuminated with a full 360 degrees of natural light.
Architect’s vision for The Circle
“We chose a cylinder shape in order to make the building the centre point in between the surrounding buildings on the campus,” says architect John Eyers. “You can create space, but you also have to create openness. The relation between nature and technology was very important to us.” Positioned at the centre of the site with corridors linking it to both new and surrounding buildings on the campus, The Circle, with a diameter of 75 meters and a height of 25 meters, has a spacious total floor area of 32.000 square meters.
In order to achieve a maximum amount of daylight and transparency, the architect chose steel to carry the weight of the structure, together with slender aluminium profile systems for the curtain wall façades. Giving the façade life and dynamism, the interior functions of the building register against its exterior. For example, the structure above the atrium is realised with a criss-cross rhomboid pattern that appears to float above the minimalist, vertically oriented glazing system beneath. Strong horizontals to the upper levels provide solar control for the interior, while a grand staircase in the atrium makes itself apparent on the exterior as a dynamically sloping line. Further emphasising interior/exterior connections, a water feature flows from indoors to out, blending the building into the landscape.
John Eyers explains that the circular form of the design contributes to the building’s social function. “The unique rounded shapes and the internal connections ensure that employees bump into each other more often and create an active ambiance. The oval-shaped ‘meeting decks’ stand out, appearing to float in the space. Passarelles to the fixed core of the building balance the structure and ensure a constant level of activity.”
In total, 7.900 square meters of glass and aluminium façade systems were installed, in close collaboration between not only the architects and Reynaers Aluminium, but also Cordeel as the contractor and aluminium construction experts Belgo Metal BV. Adding complexity to the design, nearly 3.500 square meters of the total façade area was installed with what is known as a reversed curtain wall façade. Basically, the structural element of the wall is positioned to the exterior of the building, with only the narrow trim caps of the curtain wall itself visible to the interior. This type of system greatly improves transparency and outward sightlines, in line with the architect’s design goals for The Circle.