Het Scoutshuis (House for Scouting) is the new HQ for Scouts en Gidsen Vlaanderen vzw (the Scouting Association in Flanders). A former office building is turned into a public building, housing the offices for the business administration, a youth hostel, meeting rooms for members and external organisations, the Hopper-shop and the caretaker’s apartment.
The existing office building was renovated with minimal operations and small means. The existing vertical circulation zone is maintained. Carefully placed window openings have turned this introvert emergency staircase into an open stairway. The floors are connected strategically with each other around circular vacant spaces or broad spiral staircases.
The informal connections provide several areas where the many users of the building (hotel guests, volunteers, visitors, scouts, personnel, …) will meet.
A new wooden structure was added to the building. This is the entrance zone and the Scoutshuis’s shop window in the Wilrijkstraat. At the end wall this wooden structure forms a watch-tower with spacious terraces. Users can freely organize the areas in the house as if they were at a camping site: guests can change the positions of the beds and lights, meeting rooms can be rearranged, … All floors and walls are covered with fir multiplex.
On the roof of the existing underground car park is a common garden for all users. This area will be mainly used as an outdoor meeting place.