At Mechelen, on the important ‘Brussels-Antwerp’ axis, Architektenburo S/VR has designed a new HQ for the public transport company De Lijn. The primary objective was to increase the company’s strength by bringing the five existing management teams – which had been spread over several different sites – together into one single, high-performance, four-storey building comprising modern offices, an underground car park and a dedicated ‘corporate floor’ with a board room and a company restaurant.
At first sight, the building appears to be a tout, linear design featuring a large central block and a shorter, projecting volume, like a finger extending from someone’s hand. A subtle interplay of curved and straight lines, recessed and protruding volumes give this project a distinctive identity which, with unexpected combinations of materials, give the building a unique DNA profile.
In order to maximize daylightpenetration in the offices, this volume was orientated east-west and perpendicular to the centra! block. As a result, the work-areas receive natural light over the course of the whole day.
The warmth and playfulness within is achieved by the careful choice of materials and colours. Subtle white tones contrast with brown-grey on both light and dark surfaces.
The entire interior is finished to a very high standard and, in certain areas, evokes the atmosphere of a private home.