Three stacked volumes comprise Hectaar
office building by CAAN Architecten

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Boxy steel-clad volumes cantilever in different directions to provide alternating views from inside this office building in Roeselare, Belgium, by Ghent studio CAAN Architecten.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

Property developer Hectaar asked CAAN Architecten to design its new offices on a small site next to a busy crossroads, which was formerly occupied by a petrol station.



According to the architects, the stacked arrangement of the three storeys is a response to the diverse architecture surrounding the site, including townhouses that abut the street and detached homes set back behind gardens.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

The cantilevered volumes also help to break up what could otherwise have been a rigid corner by projecting out in different directions to strengthen the building's relationship with the perpendicular roads.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

"By stacking different orientated volumes onto each other, the continuity of the facades is created without accentuating and toughening the corner," the architects explained.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

The building's first floor juts out two metres to shelter the main entrance. This leads through to a meeting room, a storage area, a kitchen and toilets on the ground floor.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

The first floor houses the main office, while the smaller second-storey volume containing a meeting room was added to give the building a height equivalent to other structures around the crossroads.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

Each of the volumes is visually separated from the one below by a narrow shadow gap, added to give the impression that they are floating.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

The exterior surfaces are covered in bronzed stainless-steel panels that create warm reflections in the sunlight and break up the facades.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

"By opting for the shingle, the facade isn't tight and flat, but an organic surface which – depending on sun, clouds or night time – changes the different mood and atmosphere of the project," said the architects.

"One moment it has an industrial feel, but it can transform into a impressive gold object in a second."

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

The metal-clad surfaces catch the sunlight during the day, while at night internal lighting accentuated by rows of LED bulbs arranged along the inner edges of the windows cast a warm glow through the glazing.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

Black frames divide the expansive glazed surfaces and conceal tracks for the white curtains fitted inside. These can be drawn to shade the interior from the direct sunlight – an inevitable consequence of the building's east-, west- and south-facing facades.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

Inside the building, a polished concrete floor and white-painted walls provide a calming backdrop for freestanding furniture intended to create a homely environment.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

An African hardwood called afrormosia was used for tables, desks and a staircase that rises from the entrance on one side of a solid plinth, before continuing as open treads cantilevered from the wall.

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten

Photography is by Thomas De Bruyne.


Project credits:

Architect: CAAN architecten bvba – Koen Heijse, Roel Cocquyt
Collaborators: Mattias Van Hijfte, Christophe Gardin
Client: HECTAAR nv
Engineering: COBE Ingenieurs bvba

Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten
First floor plan – click for larger image
Hectaar office in Roeselaar by CAAN Architecten
Second floor plan – click for larger image
  • Guillaume

    This may be a little too contemporary for my tastes, but CAAN is a top architect for sure.

  • Valère

    Great design but… did they have to use Afrormosia wood? When will architects take up their social responsibility?