In  Mechelen, the Storme Van Ranst architectural firm has designed a new office building for the Dutch-language divisions of the international ‘knowledge  company’ Wolters Kluwer.

The building is in red brick, with frequent use of glass and steel, to evoke an impression of high-tech and industry. The basic shape of the building is that of a hand from which  several  fingers  extend.

The office wings spread out from a central core that consists of a long, broad hall of light and general and technica! support areas. This is the main artery of the building.

From everywhere in the offices and the meeting areas, the employees have a spacious view of the lawns and ponds on all sides. In the fold of the large building lies a smaller Wolters Plantijn Building (an independent unit within Wolters Kluwer), also designed in accordance with the hand and fingers concept. Even though the architectural lines are uncomplicated, the design requires time to be fully appreciated. Time and again, one is surprised by unexpected volumes and other perspectives.

Despite one of the wettest winters in the last 10 years, the architects and their project partners succeeded in completing design and execution within 14 months.

750 employees from various units, formerly spread over several sites, now all work together in a distinctive building, with attractive views of the surrounding water and greenery.Transparency,light and space are the outstanding characteristics of this new, stimulating workplace.