If ever there is a building type to emphasize dynamic appeal and make a statement, it should belong to an architectural firm. Standing true to this idea is the new office building for MIA Architecture, a firm located in Beaufays, Belgium.
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To articulate, MIA Architecture’s offices are actually an extension of an existing building, a home built in the 1970s. Expanding on the footprint of the home, the new addition honors the established height and also works with the same base of painted bricks and masonry heads. The project added an office as well as a meeting space and technical premises.
If you approach the building from the front, you would barely notice it’s there, thanks to an ultimate harmonization with the heavily wooded environment. The exterior is framed in a “mirror box” that reflects the surrounding landscape, effectively cloaking the building from view. This ability to nearly disappear allows the unique office building to stand out while simultaneously blending into its environment.
Windows are hidden behind the translucent skin (SGG Mirastar glass) and are only visible after dark, adding to the sci-fi effect. The design is remarkably discrete while making the entryway obvious with a metal grate walkway that seems to float above the ground. A wooden door materializes as visitors come closer toward the northwest corner of the building.
Once inside, the oversized window provides views of the landscape, drawing the outside in and immersing the workspace into the gardens. The décor is minimalist with a streamlined black-and-white color palette. Beyond the look is the function, and MIA Architecture’s offices are constructed with efficiency in mind. The wood frame is filled with energy-saving insulation. Perhaps even more impressive than a nearly invisible facade is the technique used to construct the space in around three month’s time with low site-impact.
Images via MIA Architecture