Location Antwerp, Belgium
Program Office Space
Area 1000 m2
Date January 2017
The Friendship boat is now the office of a remarkable advertising agency. A revival project of the infamous Badboot (a partially sunken ferry).
The place takes visiting and working to a whole new level of collaboration, immersed in fresh, playful vegetation and colors that stimulate creativity and thinking outside the box.
Why dream of working in an exclusive place overlooking the water when you can be on the water itself?
When customers come on the boat, you offer them a whole new experience: to come on board for a meeting!
The transformation of a famous partially sunken boat was a challenge that Lucas Freire Architecture was happy to take on.
The boat has been completely transformed in terms of the interior, but its use and function have also changed.
Friendship had the courage to buy a boat in poor condition and turn it into its flagship.
The boat has been transformed into a place where there is a perfect balance between business and creativity.
On board, there are meeting rooms and relaxation areas, but also creative workplaces, a bar and even a green area.
The upper deck is the place to relax after work. It is a place where one can organize parties, meetings and events.
A sunny cocktail to end your day or take a breath of fresh air while working with a view of the MAS museum, overlooking the many boats.
The captain’s cabin is the main element here, where during the day a person can sit to concentrate and in the evening can be transformed into a DJ cabin.
The boat was found with a very thin hull that was not insulated at all.
Two large openings are also provided for the heater fans to warm the boat on very cold days.
To drastically reduce the energy consumption of the future office, some adjustments have been made.
For example, insulated wood panels were placed against the hull and an extra layer of glass was added all over the windows.
In this way, the walls have become thermally insulated and finished with recycled wood that does not require painting or maintenance.
All single-glazed windows have been converted to double-glazed windows.
The boat’s original steel construction has been reinforced and insulated to achieve excellent energy performance.
All floors have also been insulated to keep damp cold away from the hull.
For the floor, a custom blend of polyurethane and epoxy was poured into a bespoke fermacell mesh, over grits that were precisely dispersed around the 6% to 1% grade.
The floor has a protective layer against noise and scratches, so that high heels or rolling office chairs on the floor do not damage it.
The fermacell mesh sits freely on the pellets, so the floor moves with the boat.
This allows the furniture to detach from the surface of the floor, so that cracks do not occur due to the movement of the boat.
70 custom-made polished aluminum cubes ensure a certain dualism throughout the
upper bridge. These cubes are half seats and half planters. From the outside, they appear like a long mirror that reflects the water and other boats.
Once you reach the upper deck, it takes on a green character with a private atmosphere.
The original boat floor had a 6% inclination from center to edges and with a sunken floor as one of the main goals, this kept us researching until we found the right solution. . A floor that does not touch the structure of the boat. A floating floor. Separated from the side furniture or the structure of the boat.
The epoxy was too hard and the wood dragged with the movements of the boat and the polyurethane created bubbles due to the proximity of water and the resulting humidity problems.
In a past life, the lower level had a cramped space that was impossible to walk through. No light or ventilation.
It has been transformed into a multifunctional space with a very green and open character. The lower level is a dynamic and multifunctional place. It is suitable for lunch breaks, team meetings, individual meetings, photo studio, model storage room, etc. Thanks to the large organic openings, there is always a serene connection between the lower deck and the upper deck.
The clever use of greenery creates a relaxed atmosphere on the Isle of Woking and also serves to hide wiring.
The CEO offices are side by side. The creative and finance managers each have their own office, each with their own use and layout.
The two managers have a view of the whole office to draw inspiration from their team.
The circulation in the office is organized in different colors. Each of these colors represents an activity and atmosphere specific to that area.
White for traffic, blue for work, and yellow for social. All areas have a balance between communication and privacy.
The same applies to circulation between the two levels. The Friendship Boat is a social office boat!