New CAW-house with 16 units
Brick U, Brick H, Brick B, Brick E
Random bond, traditional grey joint
CAW Oost-Vlaanderen is in the process of constructing an office building with primary care facilities and 16 short-stay units on the site of a former brewery in the heart of Sint-Gillis-bij-Dendermonde. But there is no evident programme in the middle of this quiet residential neighbourhood.
By removing all the fencing and barriers, the site has been taken out of isolation, opening up the garden to the dense ‘fossilised’ surroundings with possible shortcuts in all directions.
The office building is a pavilion that is surrounded by trees. Facilities are provided in the star-shaped building (offices/conference rooms/visitor rooms) while three outdoor spaces are formed in the internal angles of the building.
In two of these, a screen provides the privacy required for discreet primary care.
The mix of subtly shaded Nature7 facing bricks used for the facade structure naturally disguises the rationality behind the planning of the building. However, a regular pattern is maintained by using a different colour from the range of bricks for each of the stretcher courses and offset by the irregular wood-clad facades.
As a protagonist of ‘brick’ as the most durable and timeless natural material, the choice was easy. Given the fairly uniform construction programme (with offices grouped together and units grouped together), it quickly became clear that the accent would have to be provided by the facing bricks.
“The hues of the leaves on the surrounding trees inspired us to use a mix of Nature7 bricks made up of Brick U, Brick H, Brick B and Brick E.
In addition, a joint pattern was used for the facades in order to create ‘sections’. The joints for these sections were accentuated and a soldier course was included, placed alternately at the top and bottom of each section.
A single colour was used for each of these soldier courses while the sections were filled in randomly.
This creates an attractive play of colours and compositions that helps to soften the strict building structure.
Finally, the windows were offset slightly in relation to each other. Their black colour in combination with the subtle shades of the Hand-made facing bricks emphasises this effect.