Umicor, a materials manufacturer for clean technologies, built their new offices in the middle of their manufacturing campus which is part of a much larger industrial park in Hoboken, Belgium. The design by Conix Architects is intended to integrate the plant better with its surroundings, adding a fresh scale and materiality to the site and create a sense of place amongst the brick industrial buildings. The project is also a retrofit of a mid-century 8 story brick office, with a fresh wing unrolling from one end, an interesting design narrative connecting with the plant’s mission to recycle and reclaim raw materials.
The narrow floor plate and floor-to-glass windows on either side give the tower an unprecedented transparency. The design serves to emphasize the ribbon like form that separates the levels and makes up portions of the front façade. Each level is offset to create a more spontaneous visual interaction with visitors. The ribbon extends out as an arch into the campus to provide a more human scaled approach to the offices and makes an organized egress through the industrial park. The adjacent hardscape has been softened with a large living wall.
Much of the addition’s program is for visitor and employee assembly. The architecture is designed with the intent of distinguishing the brand of the company.