Ghent, 2004

The Beroephuis is a pilot project for Flanders with the aim to better inform young people about engineering and niche professions. The Beroephuis provides a platform for different occupations from professional sectors (transport, metal, horeca, chemicals, construction, ...) to present themselves in an interactive manner to a young audience (through exhibitions, discovery corners, courses, workshops). As for location, the association received a leasehold property in the City of Ghent, in the Doornzelestraat. The building, a former customs office, had fallen into a bad state and there was in dire need of rehabilitation from a physical, technical and structural stand point. In order to implement the extensive program (exhibition space, workshop space, industry documentation center, offices, cafeteria, outdoor, green roofs ...) detailed spatial interventions were necessary. The development of a labyrinthine, yet optimal and spatially divers visitors circuit, separate from the circulation of the offices and documentation center, was central to the design. The building was stripped of all old finishes, only the bare structure remained. The very limited budget was used to provide the necessary new circulation and structural and energy-efficient technical improvements. Certain spatially engaging design elements were developed in collaboration with local technical schools ( for example the wood reception).