Het Huis

1st prize in Open Call by the Flemish Government Architect, preliminary design phase.


De Ideale Woning

Berchem (B)

Service center, offices, conference hall, workshops, warehouses and collective spaces.

5.120 m²

€ 7.300.000

design team
Arne Deruyter util rcr daidalos peutz Kasper De Vos



The design for De Ideale Woning’s social services campus is about being actively present in a neighbourhood and city, about the formal and informal aspects of providing help and support, and about a high-quality spatial setting that is as useful as the objectives themselves. 

We have structured our design proposal around the concepts of ‘garden – home – house’. These words describe a flexible playing field within which we can find a public connection to the district, provide space for encounters, and develop new models for working and collaborating.

Our design begins with the garden and then investigates the relationship of buildings and rooms to this green terrain. The starting point is the creation of an informal and familiar environment, with recognizable elements such as a pathway, an awning, a bench, a canopy, a kitchen... Space for small moments, but also for a careful transition from public to private.

To achieve this, the terms ‘office’ and ‘workspace’ have been expanded. In so doing, we create a place for everyone, where if not everything can be done, then a great deal can still be achieved.

The various aspects of the programme are housed in different buildings, the composition of which lends shape to a number of outdoor rooms. This spatial structure provides a strong sense of cohesion, but at the same time creates places with their own distinct functions, identities and intimacy.

The construction of the outdoor rooms and the architecture of the buildings go hand in hand. They are aimed at creating a transition between the more formal street side and the more informal garden side. The site becomes accessible and is prepared for multiple use.

The scale and composition of the new buildings responds to the perimeter and orientation. On the side of the Diksmuidelaan, a solid extension of the existing office building makes an immaculate main entrance to the site. In the garden, the buildings are lower and more ephemeral in quality.