Shoesme: The Two-Faced Office Building
The new headquarters of Shoesme, a childrens shoe’s manufacturer in Tilburg, has been given two different faces. This conscious duality originated from its location in the city.
On one side, the building has a classical facade that radiates allure and status and blends seamlessly into the historic ribbon structure of the city. The gap in this typical street structure is filled with a building that always seems to have stood there. As if a missing link is put in the chain. The other side of the building is recessed relative to the street, a playful modern shoebox is put on a black base and slid into a glass facade. This very pronounced statement hides itself to the unwary passerby. Thus, it is in essence a building with two very different faces.
The design is a result of the collaboration between architect Joris Verhoeven and designer Teun Fleskens. The main entrance of the office is situated under the expanded-metal box at the Trouwlaan and immediately reveals what the company is about; design and manufacture contemporary childrens shoe’s. It tells the story of materiality, layering and plasticity. The building changes from closed to open depending on the facade and the time of day. When it gets dark for instance the shoebox changes in a diorama.
The side of the Korvelseweg gives the illusion of being the main entrance. This facade tells the history of the factory town, where the succesful industrials donated a part of their earnings by giving a beautiful facade in return to the city. Subtle details put the company on his place; the Shoesme logo in the keystones and the extra children’s shoescraper.
The hybrid nature of the office building manifests itself especially at the inside. Here it is clear that past and present seamlessly intertwined. The oak plank floor next to a rough concrete one, heavy oak construction frames alongside an expanded-metal shoebox, a traditional dormer in opposite of a fully glazed facade and high-gloss panel doors in fully glazed walls are some glaring examples.
Quality that comes from years of experience and tradition combined with modern comfort and contemporary design. The building not only houses a Tilburg shoe brand. It is also a representation of it.