Buysse & Partners' new headquarters and the Domesticity of Office Space in an iconic building of the Belgian modern architecture
Buysse & Partners' new headquarters in Antwerp are the embodiment of an idea of domesticity of office space, realized by reinterpreting an extraordinary work: the more than 800-square-meter interior of the famous BP Building, completed in 1963 by Leon Stynen, one of the greatest Belgian architects of the 20th century
After purchasing the BP Building, the financial group Buysse & Partners commissioned Studio Farris Architects in 2020 to design its executive offices on the building's second floor, through a delicate renovation of the building.
The intervention required the demolition of the existing partitions to design a workspace with a home working atmosphere. The concept developed by Studio Farris for the new offices led to maximizing the interaction with the exuberant transparency that characterizes the iconic structure of the Stynen building
The new floor plan organization highlights the partitioning determined by the arrangement of cables in the façade and, at the same time, gives greater openness to the work spaces and the various relaxation areas, resulting in a strong and continuous interaction with the outdoors.
A false ceiling made of black lacquered aluminum elements accompanies the discovery of the various rooms: preponderant in the common areas, where it runs in the direction of the length of the building, the false ceiling also reaches the enclosed spaces, always maintaining correspondence with the modulation of the windows and thus of the structural solution. The lighting system follows the direction of the suspended ceiling
The flooring of the open and circulation spaces is made of a square parquet arranged in a checkerboard pattern so as not to determine one direction but rather to go along with the structural pattern of the building in both directions. The cladding of enclosed spaces varies according to the function of the room: in the kitchen a checkerboard patterned tiling, in the bathroom metropolitan tiles, in meeting rooms a carpet continues the parquet pattern. Wooden shelving units, also modulated from Stynen's plan, serve as separators in the work and relaxation spaces. The reception area defines an open space that opens completely to the outside. Here there is a relaxation area that is complemented by a bar and counter for meals and informal meetings
The theme of domesticity in the office space finds expression in some of the solutions that Giuseppe Farris has developed to give body and texture to a rigorous space: the transitions between one room and another are marked by a thick black polished wood frame that, once again emphasizing the structural scheme, adds elements of comfort and elegance that help to foster the relationships between rooms and the sense of domesticity. The same is true for the separating walls, treated with grassello, which rework, with a sensitivity close to some of Carlo Scarpa's works, the concrete texture is present in the building's central core