SMartKabine \ Ruimtewerkers

• August 11, 2013

smartkabine 40 600x450 SMartKabine \ Ruimtewerkers

courtesy Ruimtewerkers

The assignment; design a workspace in a container located on DOK in Ghent. Create, in a limited space (255 cm high, 136 cm wide and 205 cm deep), a place where people can retreat and yet can be inspired by the view and surroundings. Design a functional, innovative and original interior for a temporary workspace.

smartkabine 16 600x450 SMartKabine \ Ruimtewerkers

courtesy Ruimtewerkers

(r)evolution as inspiration

The jury, consisting of 5 experts, eventually picked out Ruimtewerkers for having the winning design. Ruimtewerkers, a spatial design and communication agency based in Ghent, were inspired by the industrial landscape, the harbour and the water and had a well thought-out vision on the needs in and around a workspace: peacefulness, simplicity, fresh air, a nice view, relaxation and coffee.

smartkabine 11 600x429 SMartKabine \ Ruimtewerkers

courtesy Ruimtewerkers

We used the location as well as the activities on the DOK site as a source of inspiration. On one hand the temporary interpretation of the site by DOK, on the other hand the future (r)evolution of the site in the next 10, 20 years. The container became a subject in dialogue with both shores. Majestic cranes form an invisible connection across the water. Cranes who have lost their function. One already reclassified, the other awaiting a new future. Both leer at one container, which – at first sight – seems to be misplaced. An object without meaning overseeing the open waters. An object causing tension between two peaceful industrial icons.

A personalised (co-)working space

One side of the container was cut out and replaced with glass, creating a diorama overlooking the open water. A clean interior where every necessity is present, but is hidden behind shutters to prevent chaos. You can open or close a shutter to create a table, a chair or a bench, you can receive customers or you can meditate while lounging in your hammock.

smartkabine 25 600x843 SMartKabine \ Ruimtewerkers

courtesy Ruimtewerkers


Comfort inside the container was also a big issue. Indoor climate, the view, lighting, sound and acoustics … topics that were on the table from the start of the design. In addition, sustainability and ecology.

This translated itself into a solar chimney for air ventilation, a green roof and environmental friendly insulation for a pleasant indoor climate.

smartkabine 22 600x779 SMartKabine \ Ruimtewerkers

courtesy Ruimtewerkers

smartkabine 21 600x802 SMartKabine \ Ruimtewerkers

courtesy Ruimtewerkers

To give shape to all our ideas, we could count on the support of a number of renowned companies. Cras took care of the wood, Isover the insulation, Libert the paint, Niko the switches and sockets, Greentops the green roof, Meyvaert the glass, Tibeflex the blinds and Santens the ironwork. We were able to work with top materials.

Come and See

The SMartKabine can be admired live until September 29. You can find her on the highest point of the DOK-site. During the DOK season (August and September) the SMartKabine can be used as a workplace. (

+ About the partners:

Ruimtewerkers, a spatial design and communication agency based in Ghent. From developing identities to physical environments, digital experiences and communication tools. Ruimtewerkers brings ideas to live, transforms brands and helps organisations grow.

DOK, a place for rest and creative maneuvers, is a temporary project on a large terrain in the old harbor of Ghent. A cosy meetingplace for young and old where you can tan, eat and drink, sport and play. DOK consists of different zones like the canteen, market, beach, arena, central, box, garden, vitrine…

SMart supports artists and creative professionals with business guidance since 1998. They offer their members administrative, legal, fiscal and financial tools so they can build on their professional course. There’s a SMart office in Ghent on the ACEC-site, DOK North.

+ All images courtesy Ruimtewerkers


Category: Installation

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