Due to the need for additional space, Lootens, a well-known construction company specializing in steel and aluminum carpentry, decided to construct a new building for the Kortrijk section. In addition to more office space, there was also a need for a production workshop for aluminum models, storage space, loading and unloading areas, a laboratory and testing space. In order to be able to welcome clients in the best possible conditions, a representative reception with a show room and a large reception room with an outside terrace was also part of the construction programme.
The new complex has been designed according to the Lootens corporate philosophy. Important in this respect is the horizontal structure of the firm, in which each of the different functions has equal value within the whole. “We were tasked with externalizing this way of working in the appearance of the building and designing a workplace in which each employee is valued as part of the whole,” according to Wim Lahus van Auer Architects.
In order to achieve this, predetermined working patterns have been planned on the basis of a comprehensive analysis. On the other hand, architects have quantified the actors of light, space, view, greenery and social desirability. The subtle entanglement of these different parameters in a three-dimensional structure resulted in an experiment in which transcendental perspectives link different actors. The integration of lights and scenery creates a spatial dynamism.
“The combination of all these qualities elevates the company in all its aspects to a higher level,” says Wim Lahous. “Ultimately, this complexity strikes an exceptional balance in the functions of a business philosophy.”
outdoor carpentry business card
Lootens Evolis exterior joinery is made entirely of black aluminum, and interior joinery is a combination of steel and aluminum to demonstrate that the two materials fit perfectly, and flow with each other, and to show the nearly invisible differences.
Innovative and circular
In terms of materials and construction methods, the construction team did not shy away from the challenge. “With 5m high doors and 9m glass panels, we went above and beyond what is typical in industrial construction, all to support our search for the best solutions,” says Wim Lahous. “You cannot do it alone as an architect. That is why we can have an excellent construction team that places great importance on innovation.” Or the architects worked with Willy Naessens Group to implement.
“Industrial construction is essentially circular in which prefabricated materials are assembled mechanically. In essence, it is entirely possible to dismantle this building and put it back somewhere else”, concludes Wim Lahous.
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