Renovation and conversion of a former convent into an office building of the VAD in Brussels
The former Franciscan monastery, which has since served as an office building, was in need of thorough refurbishment and reorganisation.The concept for the renovation arose from the client's request to bring more transparency into the building:
_The building needed to be made more inviting and accessible to visitors attending training courses within its premises.
_The inward-facing character of the monastery building was diametrically opposed to a smooth workflow of good communication and cooperation between staff members.
The entire building is divided in two by a wide and very dark corridor. On the upper floors, the monastery cells give out onto this corridor. The cells have been converted into offices. By replacing the old cell doors with glass doors, daylight now enters the corridor.
All cupboards have been banished from the offices. The wide corridors are now fitted with cabinets so that employees have a reason to leave their offices more frequently (encouraging mutual communication and physical activity), which also frees up more space in the offices.
The door frames and the sides of the cabinets are finished in a mirrored laminate that reflects more daylight into the corridors. The mirroring literally and figuratively opens up the small offices and 'connects' the employees with each other; a mix between a landscape office and a partitioned workplace…
Each landing has a coffee corner with drinking water fountain and a counter where employees can take a break, and which can also be used for standing work or informal consultations...
_Structural works: modified layout, new floors, facade works
_Utilities: complete renovation of sanitary facilities / plumbing / electricity / lighting / fire protection / acoustics
_Finishing / complete fitting out: joinery, furniture, floor finishes, tiling, plastering, painting