The Antwerpen based practice Crepain Binst Architecture recently unveiled this new office building for the Belgian utilities service provider Infrax. Due to diverse eco-innovative techniques such as a technical front wall with integrated photovoltaic panels, a borehole energy storage field (BEO field) and core concrete activation (BKA) the architects yielded primary energy savings of 42%, a saving of ca. €30,000 each year.
“The central pillar of the design is the creation of an innovative wall that is both literally and metaphorically green. It is construction in different ‘skins’, allowing it to regulate light, air and sound for the building.
The outer skin consists of screen printed glass panels in 3 colours and three degrees of transparency. The mosaic formed by all these elements and the wall’s ingenious construction have made an unmistakable contribution to the building’s expressive and dynamic character. This technical ingenuity has been combined with unbroken space in the offices: A large free height of 3.40 m and a column-free span of 16 m have made the space airy and extremely flexible. The décor was deliberately kept restrained, using white as the main colour and warm shades of grey for the flooring and acoustic screens. A few carefully chosen black accents emphasise secondary functions and vertical circulation in the building.”
“The closed character of the upper building is in contrast to the transparency and openness on the ground floors where the semi-public functions and lunchroom are located.
The large areas of glass give visitors and passers-by a look behind the screens at everyday business in and around Infrax.
We also designed a new logistics centre consisting of a functional warehouse with connected outdoor storage located beside the office. This warehouse is more than a mere depot: it is an extension of the office’s architectural qualities which does not compromise sustainability and flexibility.”