Start it @KBC Antwerp

Team

Fixed Workspots: 114 people

Industry

Startup Accelerator

Objectives

Create a space where people want to gather

Space

Size: 1,295 m²

Year: 2020

Location: Antwerp

Innovative and creative workspace interior design by Space Refinery

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.

Focus areas and meeting rooms at Start It's newly renovated office
Inclusive kitchen and team gathering area for collaboration and building connections

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.

Large formal meeting room with green contrast pendant lights
View of the open space and some meeting rooms on one side
Bright open space with different working environments
Plants in every corner making the space more lively
Feature wall with different company logos
Fun neon lights bring a surprise element to the space
Multipurpose space with large communal table in the middle and small nooks on the sides
Cosy work nooks and shelves integrated in the wall creating a fun work environment
View of the open work booths and the communal work table
Open meeting space accentuated with a jungle themed wallpaper and wooden trellis
Bright open meeting rooms
Cosy lounge space with a fun swing and green wallpaper
Open meeting room with feature wall
Jungle themed space with green wallpaper and plant ceiling feature
Neon light with a jungle themed feature wall
Flexible work space highlighted with a plant filled ceiling feature
Meeting room with bright yellow feature wall
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Meet the team

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