A few years ago, AGO HR – a fast-growing HR services company – actively sought a new office building to meet their rapidly changing spatial needs.
They found the answer in a former telecom building which was built in the middle of a residential area, near the city centre of Kortrijk.
By analogy with the large houses surrounding it, the original building was also conceived as a large villa with 7 connected units, enveloped by a large garden.
Because of the significant size of the building, the interior design of the new offices was based on the concept of a small city where you both walk, work, sit and dine like in a town. After studying plans of old, organically grown cities, we developed a ‘Rambla’-like promenade in the building with plazas, terraces and a large set of stairs,…
This public space connects the offices but it is also an area where people meet – both professionally and for leisure.
The focus of the design was to suppress all unnecessary and disturbing elements and to make optimal use of the characteristic elements of the building – concrete floors and columns, large spaces and panoramic windows.
The most important changes are situated in the main entrance area where two large windows were added to create a feeling of a park, inside the building. A new opening in the floor and a large, distinct ‘multi-cross-section staircase’ in the middle of the concrete hall creates an interaction between the levels, whilst giving the space a cathedral-like feeling.
The main entrance is a large multi-purpose space (meeting point). It can be used for lectures, classes, workshops, parties,…
The landscape offices are separated by walls made of glass, dark stained wood and felt. By using these materials, complemented by carpet on the floors, it feels as if you’re working from home. The felt – work of Joseph Beuys – is both an acoustic and aesthetic solution as well as a reference to the existing concrete structure.
The overall result is a balance between an exciting old structure, open spaces and a premium workplace.