© Tim Fisher 0032 471 494 3
489-Office block for property development company Sem
3.404 sqm aboveground, 603 sqm underground; (2004-2009); (01-489).
The original building was a traditional construction dating from the 1960s, which had become obsolete and needed far-reaching renovation in order for it to meet the users’ new requirements.
The building’s structure was stripped bare. The façade’s decorative interfenestrations were all removed in order to provide a panoramic view of the Royal Park and the whole of the south of Brussels.
The old non-insulated stone-clad façade with aluminium window frames made way for a new façade in wood with abundant glass surfaces and fitted with adjustable bamboo sun-screen Venetian blinds. A curtain of fixed glass louver blades in a stainless steel frame protects the wood on floors 1 to 5 from the rain, and is supplemented by a continuous glazed canopy on the sixth storey. On the ground floor, as well as at the corner of the two front elevations and at the party walls, the protection afforded by the louver-blade curtain is broken and the façade is clad in stainless steel.
Contrary to the pre-works situation, it is now the very structure of the building that provides the directing line of the façade, in the form of a large wooden grid. The frames of the door-windows, also in wood, are set back – an arrangement that visually detaches the grid from the structure and creates small balconies that can be accessed from inside and are protected from the wind and rain by the glass louver-blades.
The sun-screen blinds, fitted on the outside but protected from the wind and rain, remove any risk of overheating due to solar radiation. They also mean that the incidence of natural light can be adjusted efficiently, whilst nonetheless avoiding blinding light.
The fitting out of the interior is also characterised by the abundant use of wood. The bamboo of the exterior blinds is also used in the superstructure floor covering of all the floors, and in all the interior wood finishings.
The interior stairwell, of a triangular arrangement with rounded corners, is kept in its original state with its terrazzo facing.
Parking places, of which there were none in the old building, have been created in the rear courtyard on the ground floor, and in the buildings’ basements. The former are accessed via a carriage entrance, and the latter via the building next door, which belongs to the same owner.
Document E41_01/489 -En Issue of 2010-08-11
Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS All projects are designed by Philippe Samyn who also supervises every drawing
Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS with SETESCO (sister company 1986-2006) or INGENIEURSBUREAU MEIJER (sister company 2007 – 2015) if not mentioned
Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS with FTI (sister company since 1989) if not mentioned
|01-489||OFFICE BLOCK FOR PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT COMPANY SEM|
|Client:||IMMOBILIERE SEM s.a.|
Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS sprl, architects & engineers with SETESCO bvba.
Philippe SAMYN, Gregori CABERIS
Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS sprl, architects & engineers with F.T.I. s.a.
Philippe SAMYN, Andrew JANSENS.
Health and Security:
Civil work and building enclosure, General contractor:
© Photographs of model: Andres FERNANDEZ MARCOS
© Photographs: Tim FISHER, Marie-Françoise PLISSART
For plans sections and elevations, please refer to the archives section of the site available from the “references” menu.