LocationAntwerp, Belgium
Type: Commission
Program: Office Space
GFA: 1000 m2
Date: January 2017
Status: Finished
Client: Friendship
The Friendship Boat is now an office for a remarkable advertising agency. A rebirth project of the infamous Badboot (a ferry boat that partially sank).
The place brings visiting and working to a whole new level of collaboration, immersed in vegetation and fresh playful colours which stimulates creativity and thinking out-of-the-box.
Why would you dream to work at an exclusive location overlooking the water when you can be on the water itself?
When clients come come to the boat you give them a whole new experience: coming on board for a meeting!
The conversion of an infamous partially sunk boat was a challenge that Lucas Freire Architecture was happy to take on.
The entire boat received a makeover in terms of interior, but also its use and function changed.
Friendship had the courage to buy a boat in poor condition and have it transformed into their flagship.
The boat was transformed into a place where there is a perfect balance between business and creativity.
On board there are meeting rooms and lounge areas, but also creative workplaces, a bar and even a green zone.
The upper deck is the place to relax after work. It’s a place where parties, meetings and events can be organised.
A sunny cocktail to end your day or get a breath of fresh air while working with a view on 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 booth.


The boat was found with a very thin hull that was not isolated at all. 
There were two large openings are also provided for heat blowers to warm up the boat during cold weather days.
To drastically reduce the energy consumption of the future office there were made some adjustments.
For example, insulated wooden panels have been placed against the hull and an extra layer of glass was added to the windows everywhere.
This way the walls became thermally insulated and finished with recycled wood that requires no paint or maintenance.
All windows with single glass were thus transformed into double glazing.
The original steel construction of the boat was strengthened and insulated to achieve excellent energy performance.
All floors were also insulated to keep the damp cold from the hull away.
For the floor, a custom mix of polyurethane and epoxy was cast in a custom-made fermacell mesh, on top of grains that have been accurately scattered around the slope from 6 percent to 1 percent.
The floor has a protective layer against noise and scratches, so that high heels or the rolling of office chairs the floor would not damage it.
The fermacell mesh lies loosely on the granules, so that the floor moves along with the boat.
This allows the furniture to be detached from the floor surface so that cracks don’t happen due to the movement of the boat.
70 custom-made cubes of polished aluminum ensure a certain dualism on the whole
above deck. These cubes are half seats and half planters. These appear from the outside to be a long mirror that reflects the water and the other boats.
Once one goes on the upper deck it gets a green character with a privative atmosphere.
The original floor of the boat had a 6% inclination from the center to the edges and with a cast floor as one of the main goals, it made us research until we found the right solution. A floor that didn’t touch the structure of the boat. A floating floor. Separated from the side furniture or from the boat structure.
Epoxy was too hard and wood brake with the movements of the boat and polyurethane would create bubbles due to the proximity with the water and its consequent humidity problems.
In a previous life, the lower level had a cramped space that was impossible to walk in. No light nor ventilation.
It was transformed into a multifunctional space with a very green and open character. The lower deck is a dynamic and multifunctional place. It is suitable for lunch breaks, team meetings, one-on-one meetings, photo studio, storage room for models, etc. Due to large organic openings there is always a serene connection between the lower and the upper deck.
Clever use of greenery creates a relaxed atmosphere at the woking island and it is also used to hide the wiring.
The offices of the CEOs are side by side. The creative and financial managers each have their own office, each with its own use and layout.
Both managers look out over the entire office to gain inspiration from their team.
The flow through the office is organised in different colours. Each of these colours represents a specific activity and atmosphere that this zone has.
White for circulation, blue for work and yellow for social. All zones have a well-balanced balance between communication and privacy.
The same applies to the flow between the two levels. The Friendship Boat is a social office boat!