This project in the center of Herentals involves a commercial building on the ground floor with five apartments above. With its neighbor, the building is an exception in the street. They are two modern facades in a street facade that is characterized by an architecture from the 1960s. In order to emphasize both buildings as two separate entities, and to preserve the solitary power of the neighboring building, the top floor on one side jumps back from the boundary to interrupt the cornice.

The structure of the building is expressed literally in the façade. The shop showcase on the ground floor comes into its own because the entrance door of the apartments is included in the cladding. The apartments can each be read in the façade as a separate entity because they are separated from each other by walls and floors. The street facade with its large windows makes optimum use of the relatively limited facade area, so that every apartment enjoys abundant sunlight. With the opening of these sliding doors, an extra "outside terrace" on the street facade is created in every apartment.

The building structure is structured in such a way that it can be arranged virtually freely. With the exception of the partition walls and the walls around the stair and elevator core, it is possible to completely remove all walls. As a result, the different floors are very freely divisible and it is perfectly possible in the future to transform the building into an office building with a fully open layout where the entire structure and facade finish can be preserved. 

Despite the fact that the street facade mainly consists of sliding glass windows, it still receives sufficient mass through the exaggerated articulation of the walls and floors in the facade. In our opinion, this play between the open glass facade with the weighty aluminum structure of walls and floors is an appropriate balance in which very bright apartments are obtained, while the street facade is enriched with a solid facade with sufficient relief.  

Finished 2018

Herentals, Belgium