In the first week of December 2016, Stijn Geeraets and Maarten Van Gool opened the doors of Fosbury & Sons, a co-working space in the WATT-tower in Antwerp. During the Christmas holidays I had a chance to go and take a look at this new and much talked-about ‘it-place’. Because of the holidays the reception and café were closed, and there were only two people working, so I can’t give a feeling of how it is when people are actually working there, but one can imagine. The interior architecture company that realised the whole project is called Going East.
The WATT-tower is a former electricity company office building designed in 1958 by Léon Stynen. Léon Stynen is called a Modernist Belgian architect, but I think he is rather a brutalist than purely a modernist. The bare concrete construction inside the whole building is a beautiful example of brutalist architecture. Going East called this project the ‘3000m2 concrete jungle’, which it is. They stripped the whole place to its core structure and kept the beautiful concrete like it was and in its raw purity, and built the other elements around it.
When walking up a narrow little staircase one is greeted with a view of a big inviting reception desk. When walking further into the space it suddenly opens up with a 6m high ceiling. Light floods in through gigantic windows. The use of materials is very high-end and the style is vintage-meets-modern with a hipster touch. To give a nice contrast to the use of wood, steel, glass and textiles, they use a lot of plants to create a more breathable and viable space. I am absolutely in love with the play of different heights, different rooms, open-closed spaces, … it’s like a big inspirational maze.
If I wasn’t living in London, I would definitely be tempted to become a Nomad or even share an atelier. I think this is the best opportunity to also get to know new people within the creative sector and to share ideas.
“We worked with so much love on this total project. We did exactly 11 months from concept until realization. We built the space from scratch. There was nothing except the concrete. The big challenge was to create enough open space but balance it with private workspace. Trying to find the right balance between rough and details. And being consistent with our choice of materials.” - Going East
Fosbury & Sons describe themselves as: “An office with a soul, an inspiring workspace where business, culture and leisure come together. A gentlepeople’s club connecting a community of entrepreneurs, digital nomads and corporations.” - Fosbury & Sons
© Photography by Frederik Vercruysse