Old Chapel in Belgium Transformed into Office Space

Old Chapel in Belgium Transformed into Office Space

Architects: Klaarchitectuur
Project: The waterdog
Location: Sint-Truiden, Belgium
Photography: Toon Grobet, Beeld Punt

Quality of life
‘The waterdog’ is a state-of-the-art workspace where working almost becomes a spiritual experience. No more dull and unimaginative offices; be inspired by a challenging working environment where past, present and future are inextricably linked. By stacking the different offices and spreading out the various departments across different floors, a constant sense of dynamism is created in the workspace.

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Feel good
One of the most important requirements at the start of the design process was to reopen the historic building to the public. This was achieved by creating a big 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 space, which can be used for a broad spectrum of urban activities. This way, a building that has had many functionalities in the past and which has played a crucial part in the lives of so many, can once again come to live and serve an entire community.

Old Chapel in Belgium Transformed into Office Space 2

Collective
“The Waterdog” is first and foremost an architecture office of Klaarchitectuur. In that capacity, the office will be used to further develop Belgium’s architectural future. Whether it’s a residential, retail or office space, “Clearchitecture” (Klaarchitectuur) consistently strives to design a pleasant environment for its clients, through carefully designed contemporary architecture. By opening the building to the wider public, it will be possible to host a wide range of events. A such, the building can act as a source of inspiration for all its visitors, of whom, hopefully, many will leave inspired.

Old Chapel in Belgium Transformed into Office Space 3

Design research
From start to finish, the design process involved finding creative solutions to the typical challenges posed by renovating a historical building. Due to the chapel’s status as a listed building, the renovation project was bound by several limitations. For instance, it was vital the historical character of the building remained intact. This was achieved by erecting a brand-new construction from scratch, completely separate from the historic building. The new construction stands in sharp contrast with the old chapel, which walls still tell the story of its past.

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The decision was made to preserve the old chapel in its full glory, in its entirety, despite it being heavily affected by the ravages of time. Any restoration of the existing structures would cause irreversible damage to and be a detriment to its rich past.

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