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Office BCK

Office BCK

dmvA Architecten
Geel, Belgium
Project Year
Liesbet Goetschalckx

Renovation and extension ‘BCK'

dmvA Architecten as Architects

Renovation and extension ‘BCK’

In order to encourage business climate in the Eighties, a few important companies founded the ‘Business Centre Kempen’. This centre rents office-space and studios, starting from 50 m2, to young companies against affordable prices. After a period of 30 years the existing building had its limitations and did not meet the current demands of flexibility and comfort. Characteristic for the existing office-building were the long dark corridors and a lack of a recognizable space for all public facilities like entrance, meeting rooms, bar, secretariat and toilets. Moreover, it became more and more difficult to attract young companies, due to the old-fashioned look of the building. The design-process was a search for a solution to transform this old-fashioned industrial building into a modern business premises, fitted with modern comfort and fashionable looks against low costs.

Barcode,black and white

The building process was difficult and complex because the business centre had to be operational during the construction period. For this reason dmvA designed a new thin wall of insulation panels and glass, composed as prefabricated elements with a width of 5 meters, being the maximum width. So builders were able to change the existing façade of a unit in a day. The building got a new skin by adding this curtain wall façade of black aluminium and glass panels attached with white cover caps. The final result is a barcode pattern. The barcode symbolizes the business activities inside the building.

Ramblas and the ice-cube

Characteristic for the existing groundfloor was the orthogonal floor plan with a north-south corridor connecting the three beam volumes with the offices. dmvA proposed to turn the narrow corridor into a dynamic inner square like the Ramblas in Barcelona, just by building a small extension of 50 m2. This multi-purpose open space is the heart of the business centre and can be used for meetings, lectures, exhibitions and informal meetings. All public functions like reception, secretariat, toilets, meeting-rooms are adjacent to the Ramblas space. A central volume, covered with translucent polycarbonate panels with incorporated LED strips and containing the existing technical rooms and the bar, is the eye-catcher of the inner square. The ‘Ice-cube’ is the creator of atmosphere. The Ramblas space connects all corridors of the offices. By painting the floor, ceiling and walls in one specific colour, each corridor got his own identity. Colour is used as an actor of emotions. The colorful corridors become transition spaces, spaces of acclimation between the offices and the Ramblas space.

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