PTT-gebouw Oostende

Competition design for the renovation and extension of a former post office into a centre for the arts.

Gaston Eysselinck, its original architect, saw this building as a welcoming factory for hard-working people. The same ‘building-as-factory’-philosophy was applied to guide its functional transformation from a post office into a centre for arts and culture. The restoration and reuse of the building confirms the architecture’s sustainability as far as both materialisation and organisation are concerned.
By making the building maximally accessible from three sides, the relation with its surroundings is optimised. The ground floor, which is conceived as a publicly accessible plinth connected with the urban surroundings, is opened up. The skylight, which is visible from downtown as well as from the park, marks the building’s public character and altered function.
At the front of the building, a theatre square may enhance the connection with the park.
The former post order room, which is located centrally within the building, is converted into a covered meeting space at the heart of the building. Thanks to its welcoming feel, spatiality and dynamism this space actively interacts with all functions located around it. This centralisation contributes to the general orientation and harmonisation of circulation within the building.
The actual public functions, the theatre hall and the polyvalent hall, are located in the front and rear building.

client City of Oostende
location Oostende, Belgium
period 2007
procedure competition
surface 8400 m²
budget € 19 000 000
team Lieven Achtergael, Steve Salembier, Dirk Liekens, Karen Willemyns, Jeffrey Berghman, Sander Verhanneman
i.c.w. Kamagurka (art), Technum (structural, MEP and acoustical engineering), Stéphane Beel