The large industrial building (+/- 1600 m² total surface) was a derelict printing factory in the heart of the densely knit neighbourhood of St. Gilles, in Brussels. The typology of this type of building is ideal for certain activities but often poses serious design challenges to bring sufficient natural light to all the spaces.
The program required essentially 4 complementary activities: an art gallery, a photo-studio for fashion photography, an open office space / studio space and a loft for a photographer. Finally, the building had to offer parking for cars as well as small delivery trucks transporting stage props and technical material.
On the first floor, it was asked that the building have a flexible open floor plan (+/- 500 m²). This space could easily be partitioned and host various activities: office space for designers and media artists, architects, photographers, mix medium artists, etc. To complement this and offer the public a glance of the ongoing activities inside the building, on the ground floor, a small gallery (+/- 75 m²) would expose the works.
In order to bring natural light into the heart of the building, “pockets” were dug out on the lateral side of the building. These pockets were planted with various types of vegetation offering a visual barrier between the occupants and the neighbours.