Belgian firms Wil-Ma and Wastiau recently completed a modern, angular office building that turns a basic safety feature into an aesthetic benefit. Located in the Belgian city of Westerlo, Office Nete is raised on stilts to avoid flooding from the nearby river. The elevated appearance also helps to soften the building's presence in the landscape.
Since Office Nete was built as the administrative offices for a window manufacturer, it comes as little surprise that the two-story building is covered in abundant glazing. The architects also clad the offices in dark colored bricks to help blend the building in with the contemporary style of the surrounding houses. Angled steel rods inspired by the irregular shape of trees and adjacent Grote Nete river prop up overhangs located on both ends of the split volume office.
In addition to glass, brick, and steel, the architects used white materials to offset the dark profile. A set of white polished stairs leads up to the main entrance in front, and a covered concrete triangular terrace in the back is also left bare. Inside, an open-plan office complete with polished concrete flooring and an abundance of natural light defines the interior. Glazed floor-to-ceiling windows direct views towards the natural riverine landscape.
Images via Wil-Ma