belgian architecture practice klaarchitectuur has completed ‘the waterdog’, a renovation project which saw a historic chapel in belgium transform into a collaborative office space. the design intervention features public spaces and stacked volumes containing work settings, opening the historic building to the wider public for a range of events.

waterdog klaarchitectuur
the multifunctional building fosters a range of activities
image by toon grobet

 

 

the design strategy included maintaining a large open space at the heart of the old chapel. by stacking offices in a box-like fashion, the necessary space was freed up to create an engaging and multifunctional building which fosters to a broad spectrum of urban activities. while the building is primarily an office space for the architects at klaarchitectuur, the integration of community areas allows for the public to engage with a piece of historical architecture in the city. 

waterdog klaarchitectuur
the materiality of the old chapel remains in tact and untouched
image by flos & beeldpunt

 

 

due to the chapel’s status as a listed building, the renovation project was bound by several limitations. klaarchitectuur was careful to preserve the historical character of the building by erecting a brand-new construction from scratch, completely separate from the historic building. the new construction stands in sharp contrast with the old, ensuring that the past is vivid in comparison to the new design.

waterdog klaarchitectuur
the offices are stacked on different levels, creating variety for different departments 
image by flos & beeldpunt

waterdog klaarchitectuur
by stacking the work spaces in volumes, large open spaces were freed up within the old chapel 
image by marc scheepers

waterdog klaarchitectuur
refined and modern elements define the interior spaces 
image by toon grobet

waterdog klaarchitectuur
the new construction stands in strong contrast against the old chapel
image by toon grobet

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