Jump to menu Jump to content
© Peter Verplancke

Old tower with a new purpose and look

The former customs tower at the lock between the Bruges Rinbaart and the Boudewijn canal, Belgium, has been beautifully refurbished and converted into a notary´s office with an extravagant clay tile.

The five storeys of the tower were exposed right down to the inner cavity leaf. The windows in the existing wall openings, the rhythm of which varies per storey, were maintained and complemented with two extra cubes filled out with enamelled sheets of glass.

 

Aesthetic clay tile with ‘industrial design’

The numerous windows required an external wall finishing in a small and thus more economic format. The slate-coloured Wienerberger clay tile with its flat shape was a perfect choice. The sustainable ceramic material fits in with the industrial environment and gives the notary‘s office an extravagant style. The colour of the tiles harmonises with the adjacent building and strengthens the buildings character. The invisible flashing behind the clay tiles guarantees impermeable windproof sealing. A cavity with an anti-vermin net at the bottom creates a constant air flow in the cavity. The window frames of the 68 windows have been fashioned in Corten Steel. The main entrance to the notary‘s office is indicated by a large glass section. The tower also has two new extensions with garages and carport located behind, constructed in a combination of load-bearing brickwork and concrete walls, and mostly finished off with lively facing bricks. This brick owes its richly nuanced character and its irregular pattern to a second firing. As if a container has been pushed into the building, a generous cube made of Corten Steel and glass acts as special eyecatcher and attracts people’s attention even from a distance.

Façatile Brugge, Belgium
© Peter Verplancke

Working in comfort

The fifteen meter high tower offers a stunning panorama of Bruges and Zeebrugge. Internally, the structural steelwork dating from the 1950s was completely modified. Only the existing staircase was preserved. On the two upper levels, the original concrete U-shaped arches remained visible. With the Notary’s office and its distinctive façade covered in clay tiles, architect Filip Verbeke provided a valuable stimulus breathing new architectural life into this neighbourhood.

Facts
  • Project name
    Notary’s office in Bruges, Belgium
  • Architect
    ARFIVE, Filip Verbeke, Oostkamp
  • Used products

    Koramic Façatile slate engobed

Roof tiles

Koramic Façatile slate engobe