A shoe plant - a commercial building with offices, showroom, concierge and ware house
City of Malines, 1992-1994
It's our first construction at the basis of a steel framework, placed on a 4.20 x 4.20 meter grid, with offices on entrance level and a showroom on the first level.
On entrance level we chose for a mall ( a roundabout alley) instead of a hall, one that holds together a cluster of offices spaces. Individually, these offices are half-open/half-closed compartments composed of either glass or solid walls that are fit in-between the steel grid structure.
The mall works then as a thermic as much as a sonic buffer toward the exterior. The [...]secondary functions : kitchen, refectory, sanitary functions, anti-chamber sit in an L-shaped building in brick that 'includes' the office spaces. The upper floor has the same seize as the ground floor but is replaced in plan to make it cantilever and throw shade on the mall from the south side, and lit the mall from above at the north side.
The showroom is situated on the first floor. The focus here is inwards and on the merchandise which is exhibited in sequences between red bridges cum balconies; male, female, children shoes are organised around a 8.40x4.20 patio. Cocktail bar at the side.
In the overall building, 4 red elements (boxes or planes) stick out; being the main staircase whichworks as a stage for shoes, an awning to articulate the entrance, the boss offices crossing the mall. The whole idea behind the shoe import plant is a 'blocking' together of oversized shoeboxes. One may find that one is pulled out of the showroom to form the patio and mark the concierge house at the side.