[Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven]

The volumetric structure of the building consists of a stacking of a double-height garage with a main floor above it where all living areas are located. A roof tower has been added on the corner of building, accommodating the technical room.  This urban accent is facing the opposite traffic intersection. The white painted letters at the top form a white painted relief. For this purpose, graphic designer Reynoud Homan has made a subtle adaptation of the letter font “Universe” by Adrian Frutiger, in order to reflect the general function of the fire department.

Particular attention has been paid to the tectonics of the façades that express the typological stacking of the garage, residence and tower. This stacking decreases proportionally in height and is emphasized by a mutual setback of ten centimeters. The pilaster façades are made of red-glazed bricks in large and small formats and are rhythmically interrupted with red-painted cordon bands and deep-purple window frames. The monochrome character provides a recognizable identity  in the neighborhood, an “architecture parlante” in which form and appearance irrevocably remind us of the function of the building and the urgency of its users.

The building consists of a hybrid supporting structure with a central staircase that connects the several floors and ensures smooth handling during an intervention-call. The ground floor with garage and workspaces has been robustly worked out in concrete due to its functionality. The upper floors for offices and living area are made of CLT that ensures a more domestic feeling. Doorframes, built-in wardrobes, plinths and chambrants give a brown-red touch to the room structure.

Source: www.archello.com
Photography by: Karin Borghouts