033 Foppens 16 Brussels
Repurposing, refurbishment and renovation of an old paper factory into apartments, artist's studio and architectural office
The industrial building with its pronounced concrete skeleton and brick infills was converted as much as possible while retaining the existing material and spatial character; new materials were chosen with attention to sustainability and in keeping with the existing character.
The old circulation was reused, the concrete structure free-standing and visible.
The dark green wooden joinery was replaced with new wooden joinery with greatly improved insulation value and sealing, but closely fitting the old profiling and proportions of the existing joinery.
The necessary acoustic insulation between the dwellings and the technical installations such as underfloor heating and electrical wiring were incorporated into a new floor buildup with anhydrite screed.
At strategic places, the building was opened up and spaces for greenery and light were created.
The former covered courtyard was converted into an inner garden, surrounded by an inverted greenhouse façade under the old delicate riveted steel trusses that supported the former roof.
The appartments each have an indoor terrace on the south side.
The highest roof was laid out as a communal roofgarden with semi-intensive greenery in strong gradations.
Through strategic choices in the distribution of loads, this garden could be realised on the existing concrete roof without additional structural reinforcements.
The former parking strip in front of the building was converted in to a stronlgy green entrance to the architectural office.