In 1997 and 1998 we had already restored one wing of offices on floors and multi-purpose rooms on the ground floor on behalf of the Fédération Royale des Notaires de Belgique (Royal Federation of Belgian Notaries).
It was following a new request to restore other floors in 1999, that we deemed it important to consider the whole building.
At the time the block was 80%-owned by notarial institutions. Following our study and the opportunity to buy an adjoining building at 67 rue des Bouchers, these institutions decided to acquire the remainder of the block and in order to do so, create a real estate company – the scrl "Le Grand Mirroir".
The main attractions of the new project included:
- A main access at 30-32 rue de la Montagne, which is solely reserved for offices and sales rooms.
- A private access to the apartments, via 67 rue des Bouchers.
- Emergency exits via the new access and an exit at Galerie de la Reine for all functions.
- The vertical circulation reorganised around two halls on the floors, instead of three.
- Toilets and technical hoppers redistributed in these two nuclei.
- New lifts and the restoration of existing ones, which safeguard against intrusion into each block.
- Two new staircases enabling consistent access to basements and roofing.
- The restructuring of office floors, free from any hindrance.
- New technical spaces in basements and in the roofing.
The main difficulty of restoring this old building is that its height is very restrictive to incorporate today's advanced techniques. In addition to this, there is the stress of continual removals by occupants by phases of work, following the owner's choice to carry out the work while still in the building. As usual, we considered the project's technical aspect from its planning phase so as to control it fully. The air conditioning system combines a cold ceiling and perforated plasterboard. This concept is contained between the building's girders, which increases the height under the ceiling. The choice was also influenced by the discreet and neat visual appearance of the perforated plates. This system enables a partition on the building's frame every 1 metre 60, where required between the modulation of perforations.
One of the main advantages of these plates is also thanks to the acoustic comfort associated with an acoustic mattress.
The problem of fitting the lighting in the ceiling has been subject to a lot of research, which has led to the creation of a customised light which is perfectly integrated.