Govaert & Vanhoutte creates headquarters for Rob Systems
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Govaert & Vanhoutte creates concrete and glass headquarters for door manufacturer Rob Systems

Solid concrete, metal mesh and glass create surfaces with varying levels of opacity for the walls of this office and factory building for a manufacturer of sliding doors in Belgium (+ slideshow).

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Located close to a motorway just outside the town of Ardooie, the headquarters for Rob Systems was designed by Bruges firm Govaert & Vanhoutte to house a showroom, offices and a production hall.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The choice of cladding materials for the various spaces was determined by their different functions.

The manufacturing area is completely closed off behind walls of concrete or metal, while the offices feature glazed surfaces that offer views out across open fields.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

"We always have a functional approach and this building is shaped in a logical way; closed towards the rest of the industrial site and open towards interesting viewpoints," architect Michael Lammens told Dezeen.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The facility's main entrance is accessed by ascending a gentle ramp to a doorway sheltered beneath a cantilevered section of the first floor, which leans out over a shallow pool of water.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

A reception sits at the junction of a corridor, leading towards offices in one direction and the manufacturing facility in the other.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

One side of the two-storey structure housing the offices faces out towards farmland, while the other offers view of a courtyard flanked on the opposite side by a showroom that adjoins the production hall.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The building's monolithic volumes are united by their simple geometric forms. A shadow gap also surrounds the bases of each structure, giving the impression that they have been raised above the ground.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Responding to the client's request for a building with an industrial aesthetic, a palette of raw, untreated materials typical of factories and warehouses was used throughout the interior.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Concrete was applied to walls and floors, while glazing was used for facades and internal partitions, and expanded metal panels produced by the client offer solar shading on the entrance facade.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

"The metal grid facade has a semi-transparent character for blocking the sunlight but also for giving an interesting view on the farmlands," said Lammens.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Bespoke oak carpentry was added throughout the office areas to offer a warm contrast to the other materials. Glass partitions retain the views across the floors and towards the landscape.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Materials with reflective properties were used wherever possible to enhance the effects of natural and artificial light. During the day the smooth concrete, water and glass reflect the colour of the sky and at night the internal lighting gives them a yellow-hued glow.

Photography is by Tim Van de Velde.

Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte
Site plan – click for larger image
Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte
First floor plan – click for larger image
Rob Systems office by Govaert & Vanhoutte
Sections – click for larger image