With the rise of co-working and remote work, in-person office workers are increasingly searching for energizing, communal environments instead of isolated cubicles and rigidly defined spaces. In Kortrijk, Belgium, this sense of flexibility, openness, and comfort is at the heart of an office redesign by Stay Studio and Markland Architects. With true commitment to their concept, the two studios — who both form part of the creative agency Link Lab — have reimagined their own office, which is also shared by sister companies Dencity (an urban planning firm) and residential specialists US Architects.
Located next to the ancient Veemarkt, a once affluent livestock market whose popularity catapulted the neighbourhood into a bustling commercial centre during the Middle Ages, the commercial mid-rise that houses Link Lab’s headquarters had been vacant for the last 10 years. Located on its second floor, the redesigned 650-square-metre space preserves elements of the building’s shell while introducing fresh energy. Recalling the building’s earlier retail function, Link Lab is accessed via an escalator which leads to an open foyer, foregoing a more formal and restrictive reception area.
The Link Lab Creative Offices are optimized for aesthetic unity and mixed-use functionality. Minimal spatial disruptions allows for the necessary private space, team meetings, workshops, and more. Textured glass walls and doors sourced from greenhouses diffuse sunlight to distant corners of the office. Passing over, and sometimes through, the translucent walls and doors, expansive pipes and ventilation ducts stretch out overhead.
Link Lab aspires to activate creativity with a crisp platform that invites co-working collaboration; a shared office without individual branding or separation. With clear glass pathways, no part of the office is hidden, inviting intuitive, open circulation and facilitating easy collaboration. Members of different practices work interchangeably at shared tables, enabling the exchange of ideas and free-flowing dialogue. The space also hosts workshops, networking socials, lectures, and other gatherings.
Shades of silver and steel pool across the slate grey interior. Under the tall industrial ceilings, varied notes of texture — like the acoustic spray plaster coating the walls and ceilings and the aluminum partitions — add a sense of depth to the space, amplified by the vivid greenery. Veneer and marble furnishings, as well as mirrors and a dart board, round out the minimalist interior with a spare yet personal touch. The effect is an energizing and tactile workplace, where channels of communication and collaboration flow easily and openly.
Interior designers, urban planners, and architects transform shared office into collaborative platform in Kortrijk.