The police station designed for the municipality of Schoten is a study in informality and approachability. It begins at the urban design level. Instead of highhandedly appropriat- ing its spot, the police station places itself at the service of public space. The L-shaped building is pushed back to the rearmost edge of the large plot available and helps to define a new square.

Studio Name: Bovenbouw Architectuur
Design Team:  Dirk Somers, Pieter Eeckeloo, Sarah Poot, Peter Wils, Annelien Grandry, Erik Wieërs and Christophe Van Boxtel
Year: 2008
Location:  Gasketelplein 10, 2900 Schoten, Belgium
Consultants:
Photography Credits:  Filip Dujardin

Police office Schoten By Bovenbouw Architectuur - Sheet6
©Filip Dujardin

When you enter the building, you walk into a space domi- nated by two atria, visually linked to each other. One is ac- cessible to the public and contains an open reception desk, the other is in use as a staff canteen. The atmosphere of openness is further enhanced by a footbridge visible to visi- tors and numerous views onto workplaces.

Police office Schoten By Bovenbouw Architectuur - Sheet7
©Filip Dujardin

The choice of materials also helps to create informality. High-grade materials have been avoided, everything has been built from concrete blocks and wood. A saving has also been made on technical installation: the ambient condition indoors are regulated via natural ventilation and night cool- ing.

Police office Schoten By Bovenbouw Architectuur - Sheet8
©Filip Dujardin

As a result, the police station was awarded the press prize 2020challenge, a prize awarded due to its sustain- ability through savings on high-quality materials (installa- tion-poor concept) and energy efficiency.

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