History of a special building ‘Hooghuys’
dmvA Office is housed in a former warehouse, called Hooghuys, an Unescolisted monument and one of the oldest buildings of Mechelen. Hooghuys is part of a block of buildings, Lorette Convent, that was converted into offices, dwellings and apartments in 2014. dmvA being responsible for the urban planning of this part of the city, restored Hooghuys and developed the apartments Drabstraat.
Interior concept of dmvA office: ‘no nonsense interventions’
The approach for the restoration of the Hooghuys was based on two keywords, respect and dialogue old - new. First step in the restoration process was to demolish the different partition walls of the former maiden-rooms to create one open landscape office. Secondly, the timber roof construction was repaired and restored. Thirdly, to keep the timber roof construction visible, the pitched roof was well insulated by means of a sarking roof insulation (insulation is placed on the exterior side of the roof, first applied in Scandinavia).
Initially the storage attic had a rectangular floorplan with an open staircase. Being a strange element in this marvellous space, the staircase (an addition of the 19th century) is concealed with floor to ceiling cupboards covered with mirrors, in order to ‘restore’ the space and hide the stairs. Office desks are made of doors supported by custom-made crowfoot-like recycled timber legs. Trolleys are used as movable drawer units and storage. Those ready-mades symbolise dmvA’s no-nonsense approach to architecture.
1. Sikkens - Plasterwork / Paintingfacade
2. De Saeger‚‘ Lange Wapper‘ – Masonry / Brickwork
3. Vmzinc – Zincroofsheets
4. Bulo – Officefurniture
5. Mdf Italite – Office furniture