For a city hall in Belgium, Spanish firm Carlos Arroyo Arquitectos re-imagined a former Coca-Cola factory as a playful, open-concept meeting place.

Oostcampus serves as the administrative centre for a municipality outisde Bruges, composed of several small towns. The towns shared services, but their offices were scattered until the purchase of the former factory, an industrial shed on a 40,000-sq-m lot.

Rather than tear the existing building down, the architects decided to save money and waste by refurbishing the interior. A wall of thin gypsum and fibre shells were moulded on site for the bubbled ceiling, with LED lights that reflect external weather. Felt furnishings and panels made from recycled plastic bottles added warmth and dampened sound, while ‘maps’ were painted on the polished concrete floors.

The space was also adapted for low energy and water use, recycling rain water from the roof for the plumbing and using a thermal ‘onion’ to heat the building in increments as staff and visitors move deeper inside the building.

Photos courtesy Miguel de Guzmán.