Werkhuizen MIN sheltered workshop Antwerp

Extension and renovation of an existing industrial building to 3,500 m2 of business space

The Werkhuizen MIN were used up after some forty years of intensive usage and did no longer comply with the contemporary needs and standards. That is why the commissioner opted for a thorough redefining of the company. The well being of the user was central in this.

An annex building, that was barely used anymore, was chosen to be torn down and to be replaced with a new volume with supporting functions such as a second fire escape, elevator and sanitary conveniences. This way the working space of the existing main volume did not need to be touched.

The ground floor is the warehouse, the first and second floor are working spaces and finally the refectory, changing rooms and offices are on the top floor. This last level offers a view on the skyline of Antwerp. A qualitative working environment is translated in providing large terraces and, last bur not least, two petanque lanes in the roof. The building is kept at a pleasant temperature during summer through natural night cooling.

Artist Perry Roberts gave the workhouse colours and numbers, which help a great deal in the readability of the building.