Start it @KBC Antwerp


Fixed Workspots: 114 people


Startup Accelerator


Create a space where people want to gather


Size: 1,295 m²

Year: 2020

Location: Antwerpen

Start it @KBC wanted a workspace that would reflect its mission to empower the new generation of leaders. Today their dynamic coworking space is a melting pot where various startups exchange ideas and thrive in a stimulating community.

Top 3 priorities

  • Express the brand
  • Enhance productivity
  • Encourage interaction

Look & feel

Brand inspired and industrial

Special touches

  • Custom wallpapers matching the room names
  • Library focus work pods
  • Custom LED light for the Wall Of Fame
  • Custom metal structure and millwork
  • Swing

Tailored areas

  • Cafeteria area
  • Zen room
  • Workshop room
  • Library

Start it @KBC is a Belgian startup accelerator empowering founders through its 1-year acceleration program and access to 6 different hubs spread across the country. Over 1 500 founders from more than 30 industries have already participated in the program, and hundreds of new startups apply every year.

Designers have a big ego - they see something and will only do it that way. I know it because I was a designer myself.

But Space Refinery is different. They build a vision around your needs.

Lode, Founder & CEO

The Challenge

During our information-gathering phase, we identified all the limitations and what end-users needed and wanted from the space. The fully open space didn't provide any quiet areas necessary for deep focus work, so noise was a big issue. Besides acoustical challenges, the lack of division in the space was creating visual distractions. The meeting rooms were far from perfect - not enough power outlets, sometimes no seating elements, and bad acoustics.

According to our research, the founders thought the lunch area was impractical and there was a lack of spaces for socializing and afterworks. We also discovered that despite the open-plan approach, the founders weren't interacting a lot and they were missing out on spontaneous chats and idea-sparking conversations.

The Outcome

The first objective was to enable individual, deep work. We created call booths, meeting rooms and pods spread across the space to allow people to do focused work. We broke the entire floor into smaller subdivisions, reducing the noise level.

Then we focused on what complements individual productivity - stimulating creativity, increasing flexibility and fostering interactions. We added informal gathering spots around the O-shaped circulation area. This way, we created opportunities to have spontaneous meets and chat in lounge areas without disturbing other people.

The inspiration for designing all layers came from nature and its resourcefulness.

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Meet the team

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