The Namahn studios

Namahn's studios used to house Maison Goemaere, printers to the Belgian Court and publishers, from 1835 to 1995. Since we bought the building, we conducted two major renovations: like the way we work in general, these combine respect for the tried and tested with room for inspiration and exploration. These renovations were realised in close collaboration with Wim Cuyvers, an award-winning Belgian architect. This evolution of our Namahn building continues, as we are currently undertaking a third wave of renovations.

The extensive library links the front offices to the "open space" and the purpose-built design studio.  This open area receives natural light from the roof. Part of it is a sprung wooden floor perfect for dancing, there’s a cooking and eating counter, and the rest is all-purpose space. More office space has been created by refurbishing original workshops, while retaining their characteristic glass and wood partitions.

design studio

Design Studio
— © Stijn Bollaert

The Design Studio is a large, 92m² room intended for co-creation, knowledge sharing, design explorations and walkthroughs.

A multi-layered grid can be manipulated to enhance collaboration among disciplines, visualisation of concepts and competition between strong ideas.

Design is accelerated, becomes agile and informs the development of the service or the product, making good time to market.

Technical details

There are 58 reversible, interchangeable, multi-functional door panels: you can write on them like whiteboards or apply magnets to them, use them as table-tops, or let them block the view from the central space. Four enormous skylights and full-height glass doors to the central, open space bring in lots of light. Heating comes from the floor.

All panels can be turned into tables on trestles with two possible heights: normal desk and standing desk (for real work ...).

library

Library
— © Stijn Bollaert

75m² built and fitted out during the first phase of renovation, the Library goes beyond its daily occupation of housing our book and magazine collection to offer a space for all sorts of meetings and events. The large tables and subtly sculpted skylights create a very calm atmosphere for browsing.

Technical details

  • Over 1000 specialised books
  • Many specialised magazines
  • 2 large tables (1,5 x 3,0 meters)
  • Large wall for projection
  • Perfect for lectures and presentations

open space

Open Space
— © Stijn Bollaert

More than 200m² of open space divided into 3 areas forms a hub between the offices and public spaces. The entire length of the space is lit by soft, indirect northern daylight from the transparent rooftop or by fluorescent tubes and spotlights in the evening.

Technical details

Dance floor area (94m²)
Public criss-crossing space that groups, crowds and individuals use for presenting, performing and practising
Kitchen and lounge area (34m²)
The most central area, a magnet that groups of all sizes use for cooking, eating and socializing
Sports area (90m²)
Open access, public space that teams and individuals use for playing, watching, repairing
  • Wooden, floating dance floor with uniform bounce
  • Amplifier and speakers with mini-jack connection
  • Wood burning "rocket" stove and heated bench
  • Refrigerators, hotplates, sink and cupboards
  • Basketball hoop, ping-pong table
  • Bicycle parking area

 

Usage

It would be selfish to keep all this space to ourselves! We are happy to share it with artists in residence, both long-term tenants and regular visitors. We have also provided a film and photography critic's unique private library with a home. What could take place:
  • Meetings of professional organizations (we hosted VUB Crosstalks, SIGCHI.be and WikiPodium, amongst others).
  • Individual retreats, away from it all, with people you don't know and might get to know (comparable to going to a public library in order to focus and get inspired).
  • Exploring an open collaboration with Namahn, not by sending each other documents (however useful they are) but by picking up the vibe
  • Photo or film shoots (rapper Pitcho used the photo studio in 2005 to record the interior shots of Le Monde de Demain.)
  • Creativity/brainstorming workshops (basically how Namahn itself uses the space).
  • Spending one or more days working on a project, using the areas you need.
  • Also, book presentations, student exhibits, jury meetings, art and architecture shows, dance rehearsals, ...

Constraints

  • The Open Space is not soundproof (play only quiet music, particularly after 10 PM), is not insulated (only schedule seated activities when temperatures outside are above 15°C -- the stove only offers local, radiating heat) and cannot be obscured (only use projection when dark outside).
  • Since the building has only one exit, events are restricted to 100 attendees and the only escape route (= the main entrance) must remain wide open (for example, no tables or other furniture can obstruct the exit).
  • During the working day, the Namahn space is mainly used to conduct business. Although this does not exclude other activities at the same time, combining them with business is a balancing trick requiring protocol.
  • Security and fire security rules are to be respected without fail.
  • Insurance coverage is the responsibility of the organisers.
Interested? Send a mail to space@namahn.com explaining briefly what you have in mind and if your idea sounds right (we cannot offer a more precise criterion for now), we'll invite you to visit the building in the flesh.