Restauration of and old tobacco factory
3 generations of tobacco manufacturers
Just as grandfather Rafaël and father Jacques were able to blend tobacco into a beautiful blend, Laurence, the granddaughter, wanted to combine entrepreneurship and creative thinking into an inspiring workspace for entrepreneurs. The tobacco activities may have been sold, but the sense of entrepreneurship has remained.
Time for a new story. They hired us to renovate the whole building. A few historic elements stayed but most of it was changed by the studio. The challenge was to give the building a new mission. And translate that in the new architecture. The starting point of the design was the natural look of the tobacco itself. Laurence, the owner, showed Michiel and Anaïs, the natural product. The colour of the material and the passionate way Laurence and her family can talk about this became the inspiration. With extra attention for materials that are durable and natural.
The building was always called “the toebak factory” by the family and local residents. The tobacco is no longer there, but the building is still referred to as “the factory”.
Botanics is a nod to the past where everything started with the processing of tobacco plants, but also refers to the green environment both outside and under the new conservatory roof in the atrium. Botanics also stands for nature, what grows and blooms.
We transformed the factory in a place with private rooms from 20m2 till 380m2, an atrium and feel at home meeting spaces and off course a bar. All areas have been converted with a love for the historic character, but with a enough new elements.
Laurence and her family are now looking forward to seeing all kinds of activity and entrepreneurship flourish in this beautiful building. Just like the tobacco in the old days.
Pictures by Thomas De Bruyne
Pictures by Zoë Kerkhofs