OFFICE 02 — Notary's Office. Antwerpen, Belgium
While every attempt of making architectonic space seems to strand in endless quotations of programmatic organization, space as space itself became a rare good. We were asked to furbish an entrance for a solicitor’s office. The office itself fills a big 18th century aristocratic building block. The old building is of a radiating beauty. In the middle of the building a windowless space needed to be converted into the main reception area. How to make something spatial in a space not bigger than a stamp?
We made two decisions. 1) to extend the entrance area to the whole “public” space of the building, to connect the street with the atrium and the garage.
2) to explode the spatial limits of the reception area, converting it into sheer endlessness.
The whole entrance area has a basic wall/ceiling finishing, basic lights and one floor material. Within this, a modular mirrorglass wrap encloses a comfort-zone for the reception area. The wrap is an inside out glass façade, showing only the smooth, bronze like mirror glass to its interior. It is conceived as a repetition of one module. The rest space between the glass line and the old walls of the building is used by each module as extension area: the depth of it is maximised to incorporate lamps and storage space. All modules open like giant doors. They provide access to the adjacent rooms and hallways, cupboards, technical storage and lamp units.
The enclosed reception carries the spatial promise of an endless universe filled with desks, chairs, sofa’s, plants and secretaries.