Werkhuis by Loos Architects

Here's another new project by Loos Architects of Amsterdam: a workshop building in Schoten, Belgium.


Built for a shipping company, the Werkhuis Dienst Scheepvaart sits on an industrial estate beside a canal.


See our earlier story on Loos Architects' De Salamander housing project here.


Below is a description of the project from the architects:


Werkhuis Dienst Scheepvaart, Schoten, Belgium

Project description

The workshop building is located in a context of sculptural industrial buildings along the Albertkanaal, a canal connecting the cities of Antwerp and Luik.


Our task was to design an inexpensive building that houses an extraordinary multitude of functions: a concierge apartment, an office space, a meeting room, a cafeteria, changing rooms, a wood- and a metal workshop, a garage and an outside storage space.


In order to keep the plot free of clutter, we decided to integrate the storage zone into the volume, literally increasing the sub-stance of the workshop building. The required fence around the plot “shrinks to fit": Instead of encircling the whole plot, it becomes a protective skin for the building. In fact it forms an inexpensive façade with an intriguing moiré effect, through which its black hypodermis, consisting of insulation material, remains visible.


Inside, the workshops and storage spaces are situated in the body and tail of the building, while the more complex functions are fittingly located in its head. An incision marking the main entrance splits the head into two: One part facing the West and containing the cafeteria and office space, the other facing the South and housing the concierge apartment which has a loggia looking out over the canal.


The result is a beastlike structure that can easily compete with its older neighbours when it comes to sculptural shape and recognizability.

Project data

Winning design for selection Open Oproep

Workshop building with mixed functions (offices, atelier, storage space, changing rooms and concierge apartment)

Client: Dienst Scheepvaart, Hasselt, BE

Design: Miguel Loos (LOOS architects) in collaboration with HUB (Koen Drossaert)

Team: Sara Strux, Joost Verheus, Nono van der Veen, Michael Durgerdam, Dorothee Holtgrewe, Katarina Vranova

Contractor: Brebuild, Antwerpen

Structural engineer: Bureau Architectuur en Stabiliteit, Hasselt

Technical Advisors: Bureau Bouwtechniek, Antwerpen

Design - realization: 2002-2006

Building costs: € 1.3000.000 (excl. VAT)

Floor area: 2.375 m2

Photography: Allard van der Hoek, Baron G.A. Tindalplein 213, NL-1019 TW AmsterdamPhotography: Allard van der Hoek, Baron G.A. Tindalplein 213, NL-1019 TW Amsterdam