Working closely and efficiently
Dilbeek, BE

Based in Dilbeek, Belgium, OSK-AR architects is a collaboration of architects where young dynamism and years of experience are combined to realise better contemporary architecture in the broadest sense of the word. The architectural experience of the buildings and environments they design and build goes beyond the classical connotations of form and function.

Seeking growth

We were commissioned to develop a totally new school concept (project PORTA 1070 in Brussels). Working closely together with a multidisciplinary think tank that was developing the pedagogical concept, we simultaneously created the spatial translation of the idea. The exciting thing about this was that the two grew together, and that it was not traditional to first develop the pedagogical concept and then make a spatial translation/answer. The priceless know-how and hands-on experience we acquired through our experience with this progressive and innovative project has made us grow enormously as an architectural practice.


Upgrading the studio space

At OSK-AR we are convinced that everything, every success or really boils down to working closely and efficiently together within a team. A crucial factor for obtaining this is creating an optimal working atmosphere. For this, we are now, 7 years after starting our firm, moving to a new and larger office in an old industrial building. To really make this a homely place that goes beyond providing workplaces, everybody at OSK-AR gets a say in the design. Although we regretfully had to pass on the suggested indoor swimming pool. We firmly believe that creating and sustaining a great working environment results in a happy, connected and motivated team and ultimately also translates into good architectural projects.


Quality, not quantity of work

Our daily routine is strongly linked to our workspace. We are firmly committed to creating a healthy work culture within the optimal conditions. Next to providing a comfortable physical environment, we also keep a strong eye on the mental wellbeing of our team. We avoid weekend work and limit working days for our team to regular office hours; between 8.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. A healthy work/life balance is very important for all of us and ultimately contributes to the overall higher quality of our projects. By working less, we work more efficiently.


Diversity of voices

We try to involve everyone as much as possible and to give each the responsibility they want/are ready to take on. In our office, we don’t use the term trainee architect; every architect here has studied for 5 years and is treated as a full member of our team, with an equal say or opinion. Of course they are always guided and supported by more experienced members of our team. During brainstorming for a design concept, everyone is encouraged to speak their minds. The more ideas from different angles, experience or visions, the stronger the concept becomes. There are no wrong ideas or failed attempts.


Cultivating enthusiasm

I do remember the step between the studies and the field of work being quite large, to not say it was actually a complete shock. After an education with a (very) strong focus on design, the more bureaucratic aspects of the job and the everyday ins-and-outs of running an architectural practice were unsuspected parts of the profession we had to grow into. We always kept our strong passion for architectural design and are today as enthusiastic – maybe even more – as we were at the start of our career.


Annual reviews

Being architects, we always dream and that’s important to keep on raising the bar for ourselves every time and to keep on evolving and moving forward as a practice. Once a year we organise a brainstorm that we call 'The future is bright'. We talk about our goals, ambitions and achievements of the past year(s) and set new goals we will set out to achieve in the short and long term. Evaluating and appreciating what we already achieved and subsequently setting new goals keep us motivated and focused. Pursuing a common goal with a like-minded and motivated team is very rewarding.

IMG 8560 bewerkt II Nicolas Raemaekers
Photo courtesy of OSK-AR

OSK AR new office mvanhoutteghem 45 Nicolas Raemaekers
Photo ©MVanhoutteghem

PORTA 1070 photo by Luca Beel Nicolas Raemaekers

PORTA 1070 photo by Luca Beel 3 Nicolas Raemaekers

PORTA 1070 photo by Luca Beel 4 Nicolas Raemaekers
Photos by Luca Beel

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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