Architect: Dehullu Architecten, Belgium
Location: Kortrijk, Belgium
Construction period: 05.2012 – 01.2014
Purpose: Meeting centre, auditorium
Useable floor area: 1,200 m²
Brick type: Facing bricks
The AZ Groeninge is one of the largest health centers in Belgium and serves as a teaching hospital, which explains the need for an auditorium. While the huge main building of the clinic is characterized by a strict Cartesian grid, a completely different structural shell was deliberately conceived for the new small auditorium. It’s symmetrical, kneeling figure seems to sink into the sloping ground, protruding over the edge on one side, as if wishing to defy the force of gravity.
Rough bricks envelop the curved façade of the auditorium building like a coarse carpet, with their rhythm creating a structural fabric that is superior to all details. Luminaires, windows and even the jambs of escape doors are precisely cut into the bond of bricks.
“The bricks are placed vertically to emphasize the ribbon-like curvature of the building,” explains Bert Dehullu.
From a distance, the external fronts appear like a pixel image, only when coming closer, it dissolved into brick formats. To be able to smoothly follow the curved flow of the exterior into the interior, the brick cladding using the same light-grey colored brick continues inside, where those entering are welcomed by foyers connected by a sweeping staircase. The surfaces admit pure architecture; they do without additional coloring, with the natural material impression defining the atmosphere.