International Design Competition ¦ 2nd place
The new KFAS Headquarters
A district will only be successful if people feel comfortable and like the area. Matters such as architectural quality, diversity, quality of retail, restaurants, security aspects etc. as well as environmental quality in the public realm (sun, light, wind) are essential. Optimizing these factors is probably the most important basis for an economically, as well as socially, successful development.
The interconnecting zone between the new KFAS Headquarters and the Conference Center will feature a shared space, mainly for pedestrians. This space will be shaded by a `geometric cloud`, that will echo the geometry of the facades of the new KFAS buildings. Additionally, abundant greenery will be planted along the path, to ensure a natural sun protection and a great feeling of comfort for the pedestrians.
The new KFAS Headquarters
The new KFAS Headquarters will offer great flexibility to its employees and visitors; will foster collaboration through and provide adaptability that the client will certainly require in the future. The intuitive and easy access in the ground floor will ensure that all the employees and visitors fell welcome by the openness and generosity of KAFS. The first three floors will serve rather a common use, with a welcoming lobby and reception, direct connection to start-up offices and a conference rooms. The lower panorama level, separating the lower floors from the office tower, is green and public. The office tower features enclosed and open work spaces, together with shared work settings, that give an added value for staff and guests.
The Conference Center
The new KFAS Conference Center arises at the end of the extended Marina Walk, facing the public shared space on one side and sea on the other. In order to create the continuity between the shared space and the sea, the building is elevated, offering a generous entrance on the ground floor level. Additionally, the ground floor level is raised above the see, in order to create additional space for parking in the basement and in order to guarantee the desired number of parking places.
A recognizable, iconic volume is created, while opening the ground floor to extend the public space out and inside the building, towards the sea. The transparency is a primary feature, that plays an important role for people to feel comfortable and welcome.
The final shape is ultimately optimized according to the sun trajectory and the views, creating a dialogue with the Headquarters and the shared space. The hanging garden is inserted in the cantilever as an additional feature that provides comfort and a pleasant view.
The building volume is enfolded in a protective skin, that reflects the façade of the Headquarters. In contrast with the Headquarters, the function of the Conference center requires a more closed and massive appearance, hence the difference in the geometrical treatment of the façade panels. The openings are significantly smaller, but at the same time they provide the view and the light. The final aspect of the building thus becomes an iconic landmark.