|Categories||Architectural Design > Commercial buildings|
The client is an installation company for HVAC and industrial piping that has been experiencing accelerated growth in recent years. Their existing "collection" of company buildings in the center of Roeselare was no longer sufficient and they needed to move to a new location to allow further growth and to build an efficient and employee-friendly environment.
Every day, around 120 people work at Goddeeris for the installation of HVAC and piping. About 20 of them handle the head office while the others shuttle between the new headquarters and the different construction sites. The building program comprises of 850 m2 of office space for engineers, managers and project leaders plus social spaces for the entire team, a 1500m2 warehouse area for equipment delivery and storage and almost 1800m2 covered parking for commercial vehicles, big and small.
On the basis of the briefing of the everyday activities in the new headquarters, spatial organization charts and vehicular circulation strategies were developed. Given the nature of the activity, priority was given to the traffic on the site. Every morning vans leave the site and return by the evening to load and unload in preparation for the next business day. During the day there are supply trucks delivering materials to be processed.
Optimum traffic flow required large turning spaces that would greatly limit the maximum dimensions of an orthogonal building. In order to maximize the built-up area, while accommodating necessary driveways and turns, a fluid planning strategy was developed. The ambition to spatially extend this fluidity with undulating roofs would have had an adverse impact on the budget. Instead, the plan was extruded vertically and organic volumes were cut within to enhance the fluidity.
The office and warehouse are located in the rear part of the plot while the parking shed occupies the front. This allows the workspace to enjoy the view of the open fields to the north while monitoring the vehicles entering and leaving the site. Loading and unloading takes place under the overhangs that form a connection between the "rear building" and "front building" while limiting the sun in the generously glazed office spaces.
The building had to accommodate evolving organizational forms. For example, it was ideal for teams to be able to assemble and group according to necessity. This led to a free plan with flexible workplaces. The meeting space between the workplace and office forms the heart of the company. It is the place where the ‘office meets the field’ before leaving to the worksites and after their return to the headquarters.
A basic ambient lighting level of 200lux is supplemented with individual workplace lighting built into the mobile office furniture specially developed for this project. The frame above the desk creates an individual cocoon in the open space. The curved shape of the worktop makes clustering possible without imposing any direction.
By strongly focusing on acoustics through soft floor covering and sound absorptive ceilings and furniture, a quiet workplace was achieved that allowed employees to work individually or as a team without disturbing or being disturbed.