Although the historic centre of Flemish Oudenaarde is pretty, the town 's industrial periphery is an ugly and illfitting collection of shed style buildings. The architect has gone a long way to prove that good architecture, given the opportunity, can cure such shortcomings. The clean lines and open, light-filled interiors of the printing factory unify the work space and the offices but suggests that good architecture comes at a price. Yet this factory has been built for 'next to nothing' with standard precast floor planks and long span roof beams, exposed insitu concrete, timber partition walls, etched glass cladding and black finishing bricks. Kieckens ' combination of brutal and blemished concrete surfaces onto which are fitted overhead lights, switches, radiators and colour coordinated pipelines and ducting, juxtaposed by vividly coloured translucent screens, doors with smooth wood finishes and painted steelwork gives this building a dynamism and informal hierarchy. Some offices are stark and bare, some are boldly coloured and richly grained, while other spaces are expansive and calming. It is minimalism with attitude. The long front elevation with its subtly varying set backs could easily be mistaken for an expensive office building. Pity the old house was not demolished to give an uninterrupted view of Kieckens' seriously playful architecture.
|Title of host publication||Exploring concrete Architecture|
|Place of Publication||Basel|
|Number of pages||160|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|