The house with offices is situated on walking distance from the Sint-Pieters station on a fairly big plot of land facing the railway tracks. The noise and continuous flow of traffic on the street side highly contrasts with the tranquility and the greenery within the city block. It has been a major challenge to integrate the double building program on the parcel. The project’s design results from an ecological idea in a twofold context.
The wish to work in a green environment was the starting point of the project. A modular steel structure, containing the offices, was erected on the elongated parcel and almost refers to a pergola. Through incisions in the volume, ‘private gardens’ divide the office spaces and provide them with each their specific views.
The house, being located on the street side, required a massiveness (by the use of concrete, natural stone and plaster) that differs greatly from the light structure of the offices. The front façade is pierced by a high entrance providing access to the latter. By organizing the house vertically, the necessary privacy from the working spaces is achieved, while at the same time one enjoys views towards the city and across the railway embankment on the opposite side.
The offices, consisting of a concatenation of spaces differing in size, interact continuously with the garden, however each time in a different way. A basement occupying nearly the whole length of the volume communicates with the ground floor through a void, drawing daylight into the underground level. The low building is covered with a green roof and as such blends into the garden when seen from the house.
CREDITS: Program: Offices and apartment Client: Paul Bailleul and Mia Wydooghe Location: Ghent, Belgium Timeline: 2003 - 2010 Project Team: Marie-José Van Hee (architect), Jan Baes (project architect), Wim Voorspoels, Dietlinde Verhaeghe, Mattias Deboutte Engineers: BAS, Norbert Provoost, Cenergie Contractors: NV R. Van de Cappelle - Vekeman NV Photography: Petra Decouttere, Johnny Umans, David Grandorge