Monumentally, historically and aesthetically important. This would describe the rooms and the central lobby (the former counter room and safe room) of the former Bank van de Arbeid in the centre of Ghent. The restoration and conversion of the bank building into the new offices of Stadsontwikkelingsbedrijf Gent (sogent) is done in close consultation with the Department of Monuments.

The interventions in the existing monument are small while respecting the many historical features as much as possible. On the ground floor, the current main lobby has been turned into a reception and exhibition area accessible to the public. An exhibition space with restricted access and limited functionality will be located one floor higher because of the floor configuration.

Only the new staircase and elevator shaft in the manager’s residence are clearly visible 21st century additions to the early 20th century monument. A new stairwell provides the necessary complement to the existing vertical (emergency) circulation. This new stairwell is connected to the emergency exit via a secure escape route at the level of the safe room. This ensures that evacuation can take place outside the central domed hall.

The cupolas over the main lobby and in the former staff offices are fitted with high performance double glazing. The former service rooms of the manager's residence and the other basements now house technical services, such as plumbing. A new terrace is planned on the third floor at the rear of the Volderstraat.


client sogent
site Volderstraat, Ghent
function offices with ancillary rooms
area 3880 m²
building permit 2012
completion date 2012-2013
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