02 Dec 2019 • Work
How a fast-growing co-working brand is overhauling the traditional office in Brussels
Continuing their user-centric mission to bring office environments into the 21st century, the minds behind Belgian coworking company Fosbury & Sons have opened the doors to Albert, a third Brussels post. The 5,000-sq-m interiors are designed by Antwerp-based practice Going East, which has an ongoing relationship with the brand. Last year, the studio brought a brutalist Constantin Brodzki building to life for Fosbury & Sons’ second location, a Frame Awards 2020-nominated workspace.
The posts in Brussels draw a North-South axis through the city, meaning that the company is now accessible to the majority of the metropolitan region. With the opening of Albert, the brand’s Brussels offices currently provide workspace to 1,170 people, including freelancers and employees of small and large business. According to a spokesperson, Fosbury & Sons believes this ‘local anchoring is essential’ – that it creates an organic user experience by contributing to the feeling of ‘coming home’ rather than to work.
Albert in particular is situated in the capital’s Seven Building, which underwent an eco-friendly renovation by Assar Architects pre-opening. Solar panels, LED lighting and state-of-the-art acoustic and climate control systems were installed, making for a low-energy, high-wellness space. Going East defined the interiors with a variety of intimate areas, utilizing dark bamboo wood, building high, open spaces and winding staircases and bringing in various plant species. The interior architects’ target ambiance? A ‘Wall Street-like environment – with a Brazilian twist.’ A courtyard and roof terraces installed by Wirtz Landscaping Architects provide outdoor sanctuary for workers, and the ground floor has a lobby, bar and restaurant.
Now with 15,000 sq-m of space in Brussels, an office in Antwerp and an Amsterdam location to be unveiled in January, Fosbury & Sons’ values clearly click with users. That’s because people are at the heart of the three-year-old brand’s strategy: ‘Our main aim is always quality of life,’ explains co-founder Maarten Van Gool. ‘Our concept offers the flexibility and stability businesses need – they’re realizing more and more that they should stick to what they know best and leave office solutions to expert contractors.’
But Brusselaars, don’t worry: even as it goes international, Fosbury & Sons is not quite done with the city yet – a fourth office is already in the works.