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'Hof ter Dampoort',
Dendermondsesteenweg 50,
B-9000 Ghent

t: +32 9 225 54 88

90, boulevard de Waterloo
B-1000 Brussels

t: +32 2 512 70 11
f: +32 2 512 31 90

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VSKO Offices, Brussels

Thorough conversion brings a dynamic, interactive and transparent office environment into existence 

photo by F3 focus, Sum © 2010

Guimardstraat/rue de Guimart and Handelsstraat/rue du Commerce are situated in the Leopold quarter, a typical, fairly dull office quarter in Brussels. The building at 1 Guimardstraat/rue Guimard dates back to the 1970s. The building at 82 Handelsstraat/rue du Commerce is a little older and was built in 1968. The buildings look out onto an unattractive inner area with flat roofs and technical installations.


The project is part of a reorganisation and centralisation of the administrations of the Vlaams Secretariaat van het Katholiek Onderwijs (VSKO, the Flemish secretariat for Catholic education) in the building complex. The building in the Handelsstraat/rue du Commerce no longer responded to current comfort and safety standards. The assignment was thus to give the building complex a sustainable and high-quality future, taking account of the expectations of the organisation in need of dynamic office spaces and representation reception and meeting rooms.


Sum first looked into the feasibility of the renovation and the development possibilities of the premises. Sum then proposed various scenarios and options, ranging from light to heavy renovation, from demolition to new constructions. From these scenarios and in close collaboration with the client, the final building programme was distilled.


The client selected the heavy renovation option. The main entrance was located at 1 Guimardstraat/rue de Guimart. A central foyer connected to the meeting rooms has been placed in the inner area and opens onto two green patios. The restaurant and the shop have been oriented to face the street. Finally, the boardrooms and a seminar room have been given a place in the inner area of a new rear building (orangerie) with green roof.

The building in the Handelstraat/rue du Commerce was also thoroughly addressed. It was given a new façade and a new vertical circulation with lift core and two stairwells on either side of the building. A dynamic, interactive, transparent and open office space has been created here.

During the renovation works, clear choices were made in terms of sustainability. Thanks to the blinds, the insulation, the heat recovery and the vegetation on the patios and the green roofs, an exceptionally energy-efficient building has been created.



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Vlaams Secretariaat van het Katholiek Onderwijs (VSKO



in collaboration with

Ingenium (technical installations)
BARO (safety coordination)
Daidalos Peutz (building physics and energy)


feasuibility study  2005
project                    2006
construction          2007-2008
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