• Client: GOOSE & Safari Studios
  • Location: Kortrijk (BE)
  • Completed: 2019
  • Photography: TVDV Photography / Cafeïne

Working on a creative space for an international music band is something many architects or designers dream of.

When the members of GOOSE contacted us to redesign an old storage building, we realized this was a unique occasion we had to grab with both hands. After an intense andinstructive period of conversations we learned a lot aboutthecreative process and working attitude of the band, which were keycomponents for the further roll-out of the plans.

The project they wanted to realize included a multipurpose space for exhibitions and parties, a living space and no less than 3 recording studios. The style? A ‘Berlin style’ mid-century storage building, that should hardly be ‘touched’ and that slots in wellwith its immediate surroundings.

 

CITY MATTERS —
An important aspect in the setting of the typical storage building is the scenography of the city: the presence of a railway, a bridge next to the building and the interaction with a new square and creative hotspot, recently developed by the city.

In order to further enhance the dialogue with its surroundings, we reinterpreted the existing openings in the façade. Certain spaces had to be connected with the city: urban stages, linkedto the concert stage. On the ground floor we decided to install a large sliding window with minimalprofiles so the polyvalent space lights up like a theatre to the street. The first floor got a new window behind an old metal gate. The latter creates a tense but nice relationship between materials: as soon as the metal gate slides open, the city can catch a glimpse of the band it cherishes so much. And yet… the façade remains untouched.

Even the ‘Berliner link’ is never far away: the rough concrete and clean lines of the facade have their roots in the Bauhaus style, where the emphasis is on the use of pure materials and where practical functionality is more important than aesthetic appeal.

 

A NEW BREATH —
Breathing new energy into a building whileat the same time hardly changing anything about it is a time-consuming process in which every detail is decisive. That’s why the interior was restored with deep respect for the existing elements: concrete ceilings, brick walls, tiled and concrete floors, industrial doors, masticated windows,… Even the walls got carefully repainted in the original Bauhaus colors.

While removing the old floating ceiling in the living space we discovered an old concrete ceiling. The height of the existing plaster on the walls was the starting point for the organization, similar to the setting of Lars von Triers’ movie Dogville where the floorplan is an abstract idea to help organize the different rooms without touching the ceiling. The former fluorescent lighting was replaced by straight LED strips, which the group also likes to use during performances.

The atmosphere in the main studio is a result of painted bricks, a wood-wool cement ceiling and a warm polished screed floor. The steel frame in the middle of the space is used for elegant storage and serves as a landmark that defines the different functions on this floor. A rhythmic composition of the instruments – some 100 synthesizers, drums, lots of guitars and mixing panels – completesthe room.

The organization of the building is very open due tothe different levels and heights of the rooms in the studios. Through the acoustic insulated windows all functions remain connected and make the interactions between the members even more intense.

Since the completion of SAFARI STUDIOS in 2019, the GOOSE band members have worked, played and lived in their new playground. A new breath that will undoubtedly provide creative fireworks in the years to come.