Art at heart
Located in the heart of Brussels, the Arts 56 building conveys a strong brutalist and minimalist feel, typical of the 60s architecture : noble and sustainable materials such as natural stone and rare wood, very large but well defined spaces, monumental rather than functional approach.
Befimmo, a real estate operator specialising in office building, meeting centres and coworking spaces, came to ncbham to renovate all the shared areas of the premises : the welcome area, the restaurant, the meeting rooms, the gym and the central garden.
ncbham chose to celebrate the building architectural heritage, incorporating the dynamism and functionality needed today.
The studio preserved the original materials while opening and connecting the previously separated spaces, anchoring them around the central garden.
An impressive bespoke rug creates a graphical landscape, defining and flowing through different areas with its colours : it start in the building entrance, continues along the corridor leading to the restaurant and connects with the garden through its geometric patterns, extended outside with coloured gravel.
In the entrance hall, the ceiling, imitating the shape of the prefabricated facade structure, inspired the designers to create a monumental light installation: dozens of giant metal “birds”, replicating the ceiling lines, are spreading their illuminated wing and welcoming the visitors.
The carpet shows a very diverse yet harmonious medley of colours, chosen the complement or accentuate the furniture, depending on the spaces and seating typologies.
The extensive chromatic work also applies outside : the garden was completely redesigned with plants that will be blooming 9 months per year, gracing the viewer with explosions of colours.
ncbham named the restaurant Fresco, playfully referencing both its modern frescoes & its fresh food offer, and conceived all its branding & signage. The previously isolated restaurant is now completely open to the main hall and the garden. A feeling of intimacy is induced by the definition of distinctive zones, reminescent of movie sets, creating specific moods through materiality, sitting options and colour palette, inviting guests to explore and immerse themselves in very cinematographic decors.
On the technical side, the studio audited the kitchen equipments and replaced some of them for an optimal efficiency and a reduced ecological footprint. The kitchen and self service are now designed to offer the best experience to both staff and customers.
The fitness area is a complex space : located on two levels, the ground floor and the basement, it also gives access to the building parking. The designers considered its position and the existing materials and chose to give the space a more industrial feel. Concrete floors and walls as well as a yellow grid ceiling convey a powerful yet simple identity, while monumental hand-painted graphics connect all the spaces.
Kitchens & self services
Pictures by Thibault De Schepper