Urbain Architectencollectief converts brick fire station into Kortrijk cultural centre

Photography is by Filip Dujardin. “Through the reallocation of a nearby deserted fire station we have managed to divide the programme of the brief in a balanced way, and we were able to avoid the physical extension of the existing cultural centre,” said the architects. This insulated skin combines with the new glazing and anodised aluminium frames to improve the facility’s energy efficiency. To create the space required for the additional amenities, a second storey was added to the existing flat-roofed single-storey building. A concrete staircase that spirals around a pillar near the entrance provides access to the conference rooms on the upper floor. The foyer looks out across a landscaped lawn that improves the public space connecting the fire station building with the existing cultural centre. “This way we could reduce the refurbishment of the centre to a basic but thorough update,” they added. A similar type of brick and bond pattern was used to create visual continuity between the old and new structures. Related story: Jewish cultural centre with an acutely angled corner by Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos
Following an assessment of the site, the architects determined that an extension to the existing building would result in an overbearing structure and have a detrimental affect on the adjacent public space. Site plan –   click for larger imageGround floor –   click for larger imageFirst floor –   click for larger imageCultural centre floor plan –   click for larger image The foyer also now extends into a cafeteria space that opens onto a new terrace. The extension to the Cultural Center de Neerbeek forms part of a masterplan developed by Ghent studio Urbain Architectencollectief in 2009 to increase the town’s public amenities by introducing a new library, administration offices and conference rooms. Offices and a new foyer are accommodated in the remaining ground floor rooms. Instead they collaborated with Carlos Debucquoy, the architect of the existing cultural centre, to modernise the building and proposed repurposing a nearby disused fire station to house the additional facilities.

Updated: 08.11.2014 — 17:54