Barco new head office: special doors for a special building
Classrooms, an auditorium, demonstration rooms, a restaurant, meeting rooms and office areas, and an exceptional circular architecture.Barco’s new, multifunctional head office in Kortrijk, Belgium, presented many challenges for all involved parties. Merford supplied custom-made doors that combined multiple requirements relating to design and functionality.
Non-residential buildings, Offices
The Circle, as the new building is known, forms part of the Barco campus, that furthermore comprises production buildings, an office building and a test centre for R&D activities. With its move to Kortrijk, Barco, a supplier of visualisation products for the business market, has concentrated all of its activities, except for logistics, at a single site. The building at the former site in Kuurne, Belgium, had become dated and no longer projected the technological, innovative image of this globally operating company.
The architectural firm Jaspers-Eyers Architecten went beyond the mundane by selecting a round shape for the building with a 75-metre diameter and a 25-metre height. The firm felt that the dynamic projected by a circle would be a good fit for the project’s desired image.
The Circle has a modern campus appearance in which atmosphere and perception are key elements. This dynamic is oriented towards employees and clients, as well as visitors and young talent. Here, you can become acquainted with the latest technology and developments relating to visualisation products. There is an experience centre with an auditorium that can seat 170 persons, as well as a training centre, Barco University, with classrooms, and a meeting deck with 26 meeting rooms.
Not only does the glass building’s exterior facade has a round shape, the various rooms within the building have extraordinary shapes as well: round, triangular or oval. The positioning and shape of the various spaces creates an open, lively whole with rooms here and there that seem to float in the air.
Challenges result in custom-work and innovative techniques
Because of the special shapes and challenges, the project, rather than making use of contract documents, made use of a quality handbook that was leading in terms of selecting the various parties. The building’s components were developed step-by-step on the basis of close collaboration within the building team, among others comprising Cordeel (contractor), the architect, the Client and VK Engineering. This resulted in the use of innovative techniques.
Merford was asked to provide advice relating to the sound insulation and fire resistance of the interior doors for the technical areas, the auditorium, and the demonstration areas and classrooms. On the basis of consultations with the building team, Merford developed, produced and mounted custom-made doors in accordance with the client’s wishes. To produce optimal results, the entire process was intensively managed by our project manager. To be sure that the doors would fit into the brickwork walls, Merford measured the wall openings during construction before starting production.
The doors, with a high aesthetic finish, perfectly fit into the interior and are almost impossible to distinguish from the other doors in the building. Only the thickness of the doors betrays that they were specially developed to withstand fire for 60 minutes and that they have a high sound insulation value. The doors, equipped with electric locks and sliding door closers, were delivered with a lacquer finish. Just like the frames, which were supplied in a different colour. Once installed by our own assembly crew, the doors were immediately operational. By supplying a full-service solution of this nature, our building partners did not need to devote any efforts to this aspect.