Office in a church: De Waterhond by Klaarchitectuur
Location: Sint-Truiden (BE)
The premises containing the modern workplaces in the historical church building in Sint-Truiden, Belgium, make working an almost spiritual experience; instead of the usual type of boring and unimaginative offices, the past meets the present and future in the form of individual office and conference rooms stacked up at various levels and providing intriguing views into the historical interior. The resulting work spaces are not only Klaarchitectuur's new premises but also act as a showcase for potential clients visiting the architectural practice.
The design process involved in renovating the heritage-listed building included a search for creative solutions; at the same time, importance was attached to maintaining the historical character of the church. This has been achieved by clearly setting the new structures apart from the old one. A further requirement – namely to open up the historical building to the public again – has been met by leaving a large area free in the heart of the building. Clearly distinguishing between the old church interior and the modern office premises has brought about an open and multifunctional space that can be used for various civic activities.