Barco One Campus

Barco One Campus

360 DEGREES OF LIGHT

 

Transparency is the central theme for “The Circle”, the new headquarters of Belgian technology giant Barco. Designed by Jaspers-Eyers Architects, the glass façade and roof systems form a skin around the circular building’s open plan interior and central atrium space, where daily activities are illuminated with a full 360 degrees of natural light. 

Take a virtual tour through the project and experience its amazing architecture as if you were there.
For an optimal experience, watch the video with a VR headset via the below link or use the Youtube app on your tablet or smartphone (https://youtu.be/RnZ27wKHTWM).

Architect’s vision for The Circle 

“We chose a cylinder shape in order to make the building the centre point in between the surrounding buildings on the campus,” says architect John Eyers. “You can create space, but you also have to create openness. The relation between nature and technology was very important to us.” Positioned at the centre of the site with corridors linking it to both new and surrounding buildings on the campus, The Circle, with a diameter of 75 meters and a height of 25 meters, has a spacious total floor area of 32.000 square meters.  

“THE CIRCULAR FORM OF THE DESIGN CONTRIBUTES TO THE BUILDING’S SOCIAL FUNCTION.”John Eyers (Jaspers-Eyers Architects)
John Eyers (Jaspers-Eyers Architects)

John Eyers was born in 1961 in Leuven, Belgium. He graduated at the College of Architecture Saint-Luc in Brussels in 1984. After his internship at the architectural firm Jaspers & Partners, he stayed attached to the office as a freelance architect.

In 2001 John Eyers becomes co-executive of Jaspers & Partners and thus the company name was changed to Jaspers-Eyers & Partners. He and Jean-Michel Jaspers expanded the firm that was founded by Michel Jaspers.

Meanwhile, Jaspers-Eyers Architects has become one of the leading architectural offices in Belgium and Europe. Today, they operate from 3 different offices: in Hasselt, Leuven and Brussels. The team consists of some 150 persons in total that include senior and junior architects, architectural draughtsmen, designers, model makers, perspectivists and administrational staff. Thanks to many international collaborations, they have left their stamp in more than 12 countries such as France, Poland, Morocco and China.

The team has won several prices for projects such as Barco (Kortrijk), Toison d’Or (Brussels), Paradise Tower (Liège), Warsaw Spire (Poland) and the European Parliament (Brussels). Quality, durability and sustainability are the key stones in their design approach. The basic idea to develop contemporary projects, in time and in accordance with the budget of the clients are still the fundamental objectives of their architectural vision.

The steel structure forms a striking design element to the building's outer façade.

In order to achieve a maximum amount of daylight and transparency, the architect chose steel to carry the weight of the structure, together with slender aluminium profile systems for the curtain wall façades. Giving the façade life and dynamism, the interior functions of the building register against its exterior. For example, the structure above the atrium is realised with a criss-cross rhomboid pattern that appears to float above the minimalist, vertically oriented glazing system beneath. Strong horizontals to the upper levels provide solar control for the interior, while a grand staircase in the atrium makes itself apparent on the exterior as a dynamically sloping line. Further emphasising interior/exterior connections, a water feature flows from indoors to out, blending the building into the landscape.  

In the atrium, daily activities are illuminated with a full 360 degrees of natural light.

John Eyers explains that the circular form of the design contributes to the building’s social function. “The unique rounded shapes and the internal connections ensure that employees bump into each other more often and create an active ambiance. The oval-shaped ‘meeting decks’ stand out, appearing to float in the space. Passarelles to the fixed core of the building balance the structure and ensure a constant level of activity.”  

Johan Heyman - VP Operations Barco adds,  “One of the elements that strongly emphasizes the open communication in the building, is the atrium. It not only lets in abundant light, but it is also very open. It is here that we placed our office restaurant. Now, after six months, we experience that the restaurant is used for many other functions other than just to eat. It became an informal meeting place and therefore becomes part of the office space instead of a closed off canteen.”   

“THE RESTAURANT BECAME AN INFORMAL MEETING PLACE.”Johan Heyman (VP Operations Barco)
Johan Heyman (VP Operations Barco)

Johan Heyman is Vice President Operations & Logistics at Barco, managing the manufacturing sites worldwide as well as the worldwide Logistics, Procurement team, Quality and Facilities teams. Before joining the company in 2008, he held several management positions in the semiconductor industry at Alcatel Microelectronics, AMI Semiconductor and ON Semiconductor. Mr. Heyman holds a Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Ghent (U.G.) as well as a post-graduate degree in Industrial Management from the same university.

 

A custom made CW 50 reversed façade with slim profiles allows for a maximum entrance of daylight.

The challenge 

In total, 7.900 square meters of glass and aluminium façade systems were installed, in close collaboration between not only the architects and Reynaers Aluminium, but also Cordeel as the contractor and aluminium construction experts Belgo Metal BV. Adding complexity to the design, nearly 3.500 square meters of the total façade area was installed with what is known as a reversed curtain wall façade. Basically, the structural element of the wall is positioned to the exterior of the building, with only the narrow trim caps of the curtain wall itself visible to the interior. This type of system greatly improves transparency and outward sightlines, in line with the architect’s design goals for The Circle.

Starting from the basic principles of a classic façade system, the façade of The Circle is a highly customised design solution. It includes CW 50 profiles for the lower volumes, areas behind the criss-crossed and horizontal steel structure elements, as well as the glazed roof. In addition, standard CS 77 windows and doors, along with HID (High Intensity Door) panic doors were integrated. The glazed roof is a particularly impressive technical achievement. Measuring 1.500 square meters in area, the architects wanted to have as flat a roof as possible, which is quite complex to achieve in glass whilst ensuring full water resistance. The design solution comprises a steel structure on the inside, and CW 50 profiles on the outside. The system has a slope of only 5 degrees, a very minimal amount to achieve such performance.

Sustainability 

Naturally, an all-glass building raises questions about energy-efficiency and thermal control. The Reynaers Aluminium systems offer a thermally efficient standard. Further to this, the sleek horizontal rows of coffering running along the side of the building provide protection from the sun and an extensive cooling system regulates temperatures within this circle of glass. 

Guy Eeckhout - AHS & Facility Director at Barco says,“In relation to the sustainability of the building materials, we chose aluminium as a durable material, as well as high-performance glass, to keep the heat outside. And in order to let abundant light into the building, we chose not only for a glass façade but also a glass roof that minimises shadow in the atrium.” 

The circular, light filled icon will take centre stage on the Barco campus for years to come.

Express yourself 

Branding was also a key desire of Barco as a client and the design of the façade was able to address this requirement. The outer parts of the inner volumes are finished with a taut banner, which creates a sleek, curved surface. “In the future, Barco will be able to project images on these surfaces using its own technology. This is how the company wants to turn the new building into the standard-bearer for its own high-tech products,” says Bruno Poelman, project leader at Jaspers-Eyers. 

In conclusion, a building project of such complexity requires the highest levels of co-operation between an expert building team. The result is a circular, light filled icon that will take centre stage on the Barco One Campus for years to come.  

Guy Eeckhout (EHS & Facility Director)

Guy Eeckhout is EHS & Facilities Director at Barco. Before joining the company in 2011, he held comparable functions in Alcatel-Lucent . In these functions he participated in the realization of a.o. a submicron cleanroom for semiconductor processing in Oudenaarde, the Belgian Headquarters of Alcatel Lucent in Antwerpen (Kievitplein) and the Barco campus in Kortrijk. Guy Eeckhout holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Chemistry from the Industrial High School Ghent, a post graduate degree in Environmental Sciences from the Antwerp University and Prevention advisor level 1.

PROJECT SOLUTION

Systems:
• Bespoke solutions based on CW 50-SC, CS 77, CW 50-SL & CW 50-HL
• CS 77 windows & doors
Project description:
GLAZED ROOF:
• Development of CW 50-SC bespoke façade solution to assure the required air- and water tightness of large flat atrium roof.
• 1.500 m² of CW 50-SC roof façade with inclination of 5%
• Profile width of 70 mm
• 4  new profiles and 2 new gaskets
CROSSED FAÇADE:
• Development of CS 77 bespoke solution to match installation principle (steel structure outside, glass installation from inside)
• 1.500 m² of CS 77/CW 50-SL segmented façade
• 2 new profiles and 1 new gasket
BELOW VOLUMES & FAÇADE BEHIND HORIZONTALLY LINED STRUCTURE:
• Development of CW 50-HL bespoke façade solution to match static requirements of the building (single span of below volume of 7,6m)
• 3.500m² of CW 50-HL segmented façade – 2 x 1.5°
• 1 new profile
Elements:
• CW 50-SC roof façade elements: 2300 x 2300 mm
• CS 77/CW 50-SL façade: 2000 x 4000 mm
• CW 50-HL façade: 
        o      1960 x 3230 mm
        o      300 kg/panel (lower volumes)
• CS 77-HI high intensity entrance doors: 2440 x 2865 mm
• CS 77-HI double casement window: 2200 x 2600 mm
Glazing:
• Roof: 12-15-66.2
• Crossed façade: 12-15-88.2
• CW 50-HL: 10-15-66.2
Testing:
For the CS 77/CW 50-SL solution, air-, wind- and water tests were performed in the Reynaers Institute.

Crossed façade - vertical section A

1 Horizontal frame profile (type CS 77)
2 Mullion (CW 50-SL)
3 Pressure plate
4 Continuous gasket
5 cover gasket (screw fixation)
6 glazing gaskets
7 Insulation gasket
8 Exterior steel structure
9 Local steel bracket (weight)
10 Local steel bracket (wind - glass stability)

Crossed façade - horizontal section B

1 Horizontal frame profile (type CS 77) 
2 Mullion (CW 50-SL)
3 Pressure plate 
4 Continuous gasket 
5 cover gasket (screw fixation) 
6 glazing gaskets 
7 Insulation gasket 
8 Exterior steel structure 
9 Local steel bracket (weight) 
10 Local steel bracket (wind - glass stability)

Roof - section C

1 Mullion 
2 Transom 
3 Clamping profiles 
4 inner glazing gaset - continuous 
5 inner glazing gasket 
6 Fixations (in dry area) 
7 Substructure

Roof - section D

1 Mullion 
2 Transom 
3 Clamping profiles 
4 inner glazing gaset - continuous 
5 inner glazing gasket 
6 Fixations (in dry area) 
7 Substructure

Fabricator: 
Belgo Metal NV
Location: 
Kortrijk, Belgium View on map
Photographer: 
Philippe Van Gelooven
Other partners: 
Barco NV (Investors) Cordeel (General Contractors) VK Architects & Engineers (Engineering office)