Kantoren en Brandweerpost Kielsevest Antwerpen
The project site is located along Kielsevest on a strategic position within the city: not only at a visible location along the ring road, but also in the vicinity of the Antwerp-South railway station and the traffic junctions of the A12 and the E19 with the Antwerp ring road.
META's competition proposal consists of a project-specific floor plan in the form of an irregular hexagon. Volumetrically, a clear distinction is made between a base volume that contains the fire station and a head volume that houses the offices. The low base fits in with the surrounding residential buildings, while the higher office volume is regarded as one of the beacons within the surrounding urban fabric.
The whole is a solitary building that, due to the specific slender design, leaves sufficient light and visibility for the surrounding structures.
As a central entity, the fire station has a double-height vehicle hall with drive-through capability, to which various utility rooms (such as storage rooms, changing rooms, etc.) are linked. The living areas for firefighters with accommodation, sleeping, sports and relaxation facilities are located on level +1. The whole was designed from the spirit of the firefighters in order to construct a building that promotes optimal functioning of the fire department.
The floor levels above were designed to be as flexible as possible, initially as office floors (easily divisible into one or more entities), but also with the possibility of reconversion into residential facilities. By providing a smart structural concept, centralizing the circulation and clustering the pipe shafts, generic type floors are created that can serve both offices and residential units. Various floor options were drawn up for this, ranging from one large landscape office, several smaller individual offices, 6 large apartments to even 12 studios per type floor.
The facade was developed as a concrete exo-skeleton and thus forms an integral part of the stability concept. Thanks to a sophisticated detailing, the construction can be used both for floor structures for offices (with computer floor), apartments (with integrated pipes) and terraces (fully insulated).