Plusoffice architects add a floating floor to the town hall of Kontich, Belgium
Brussels based plusoffice architects renovated the existing town hall of Kontich in Belgium into a dynamic administrative house where various municipal services come together. The new council chamber – a floating floor on top of the existing building – became a transparent room that towers above the town square.
An ingenious infill development strategy transforms the administrative center into a sustainable service house. The front office on the ground floor forms the heart of the building. All possible services can now be found in a generous covered patio, in line with the new organizational structure. The floors in between were completely renovated into flexible working concepts. From flex desks and consultation rooms to more classical, executive offices. A variety of workplaces is offered to the various services to boost their collaboration.
The remodeled and extended administrative center for the commune of Kontich combines various entities oﬀering better service to its’ citizens and optimize internal operations. Plusoﬃce reorganizes the U-shaped oﬃce building into a square floor plan with a central atrium and an added floor for the council room, a space too large to fit within the existing structural grid.
The original concrete structure and ribbed ceilings remain visible throughout the building, along with the technical installations. The design focus is on the materiality and detailing of the added volumes that structure the spaces and insert the necessary support infrastructure such as meeting spaces, washrooms, and technical equipment.
The project resolutely opts for an ‘adaptive reuse’ strategy of the 1980s building by expanding it into a compact volume with a clear and flexible plan layout. What is crude remains crude and visible, only the objects that are in contact with people are refined and intrinsically developed with materials such as exposed wood and terrazzo. The patio and the U shape of the existing building were covered and closed into a more compact whole. This not only reduces the lost area but the daylight now also penetrates deep into the building. That is a huge surplus on the sustainability value of this project.