​Office building Passionistenlaan 82 wins Febe Outstanding Precast Awards 2021

This project is the renovation of an existing office building in Kortrijk into a sustainable pilot project of the Flemish Government. 

The existing building with a floor area of 2,000 square metres was stripped down to the initial supporting structure of on-site poured concrete columns and ribbed floors.

This was surrounded by a new outer shell of joinery and an independent precast concrete structure of vertical tubes and horizontal canopies. The whole structure has its own foundation and uses the existing building only for horizontal stability.

This autonomous precast concrete façade is both an architectural element and a technical tool.

The façade trunks organise the distribution of pipes from the roof and at the same time carry the thin cantilevered balconies. These balconies are imposed between the slender box walls at the level of the upper floors.

The canopies serve as terraces and sunscreens. They have circular perforations, which makes them lighter, less saggy and allows sunlight through. In some of the holes, glass plates have been inserted, so that the canopies are also accessible.

The concrete façade shafts and canopies vary in width and depth per façade. In this way, the amount of glass, daylight and space for techniques is organised and attuned to the needs of the users and the orientation of the building.

This project shows how, by preserving the existing concrete structure and adding new contemporary building elements, buildings can be given a new, long-lasting life. In addition, the designers also foresee a high degree of flexibility in the open plan, so that the users have all the freedom to continue to use the spaces in a useful way, also in the future. Both are in line with the ambitions of circular construction. (dixit the jury)

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