Central Police Station Kouter Torhout
New-build project of a 3,400 m2 police station with 98 workstations, 10 interrogation rooms, 3 individual cells and 1 collective cell
structural and MEP engineering
Bureau De Fonseca
In early 2020, META was commissioned to design the new Central Police Station Kouter Torhout.
After decades of operating out of various buildings, spread across the entire police zone of Gistel, Ichtegem, Jabbeke, Oudenburg and Torhout, the police services are being centralised.
Together with META, the Local Police Kouter set up a participation process during which the design was worked out in mutual, open consultation. The functional aspect of the police was the primary touchstone during the entire process with which the design had to comply.
The final design is a stepped building, both in height and depth, and perfectly symbolises the workings of the police. On the ground floor, the ground-level functions are located for public access (reception and interrogation), vehicle access (vehicle locker zone), loading and unloading (logistics) and proximity (neighbourhood service).
At level +1 are the offices of the police staff, the canteen and the crisis room, where each emergency service (civil protection, fire brigade, ambulance, etc.) has its own quiet cell in order to switch quickly between multidisciplinary consultation and internal consultation within its own organisation in the event of a crisis.
Finally, the premises of the police management and supporting services are positioned on level +2.
The stairway shape provides space for roof surfaces that can be used as roof terraces or green roofs. Roof sections that are not in view are fitted with solar panels.
Each floor plan was designed in consultation with LPK, with a logical clustering of functions, the application of consistent safety zoning and the limitation of long walking distances as guiding principles.
Thanks to the clever stability concept, load-bearing walls are avoided as much as possible, ensuring maximum flexibility for the plan in the future: walls can be removed or added at any time.
The low-maintenance materials are all durable, sound and robust... a necessity in a police building.
The building is constructed entirely in accordance with 'META's five pillars of economic construction' and the principles of 'META's layered sustainability'. For example, the building uses geothermal energy, which is linked to concrete core activation, providing a sustainable thermal concept without sacrificing comfort.