West Side Residence by De Baes Architects

West Side Residence

More than half a century after a construction boom replaced the ornate Belle Epoque homes along Kokke’s coastline, the area is now filled with outdated, functionalist structures nearing the end of their lifespans.

The West Side Residence was one such example. This post-war structure of little architectural value was crumbling and either needed to be repaired or demolished and replaced. The problem was deciding which. Some owners wanted to keep their apartments, while others wanted new, up-to-date homes.

To reconcile between the two camps—those who wanted a new building and those who wanted to maintain their apartments—we developed a scheme that renovated the existing structures and offered residents a choice to opt-in for interior renewals.

Sustainable reuse
Demolishing and rebuilding a structure comes at a tremendous cost to the environment, so we were determined to find ways to maintain the existing building.

We stripped the building to its structural bones and refaced it with a high-performing envelope that exceeds current sustainability standards.

The renovation incorporates energy-efficient facade systems that improve performance and match the visual quality of a new construction, while saving over 72,000kWh of energy each year.

At every step, we found opportunities to reuse materials and structural elements from the existing building, saving time and minimizing emissions in the process.

New into old
Our renovation injects new life into the old structure. We designed a shimmering building skin that refreshes the face of the residence and visually links it with the colourful plaza, the sky, and the ocean.

The faceted facade creates a play of light and reflection, bringing a sense of dynamism to the building’s face. The design maximizes glass exposure to open up views over the Knokke landscape and bring in as much natural light as possible, minimizing energy demands.

The faceted faces of the facade elements cut away pieces that would block the path of the sun or sightlines, enhancing the sense of connection between the interiors and the plaza, ocean, and sky. Source by De Baes Architects .

  • Location: Knokke, Belgium
  • Architect: De Baes Architects
  • Project Lead Architect: Joris De Baes
  • Project Team: Joris De Baes, Carolina Vicente, Bavo Gladiné, Noemi Chausidis, Veronika Macova
  • Project Engineers: DS Engineering
  • Energy efficiency: FEYS
  • Main Contractor: Van Huele
  • Windows: Allaert Aluminium
  • Façade cladding: Apers & Partners
  • Area: 1500 m2
  • Year: 2022
  • Photographs: Frans Parthesius, Courtesy of De Baes Architects