The Baldwin office in Ghent is a cozy and hip office where everyone is working behind a computer screen. You would not expect that within our building there once were heavy machines that gave the industrial revolution of Ghent a huge push forward. The roots of the Baldwin office date back to 1869. Dive into the rich history of our favorite workspace and learn how our history gave the office its unique soul and appearance.

Cotton

In 1869 August Buysse and Alfred Baertsoen started an industrial textile factory in Ghent. This two gentleman already had a lot of experience in the field and they grew the factory into a success story.

At the peak of this cotton mill, there was 52.000 cotton spindle with a yearly production of 4,2 million kilograms of yarn. They invested in weaving mills that produced a wide variety of cotton and linen products. The specializations of the factory included cover sheets, velvet, dishcloths, liners, veils, fabrics for mattresses…

Around 2500 employees worked in the factory and the owners made sure that there was housing nearby the factory site. This made them a very important part of Ghent with a huge impact on a lot of people directly and indirectly.

Baldwin kantoor Gent - geschiedenis van het gebouw
You can spot the Baldwin office on this old invoice. It’s the second building in the right corner.

A second life

In 1964 the factory site was sold to Union Cotonnière (UCO). A few decades later it was resold again.

Sikos Invest bought the building and they are still the current owner. At the point they bought the factory site it was in a bad shape. But the director at that time (Johan Blondé) found that these buildings were too precious to demolish. So they started a renovation process to make the structure usable again. They took the floors out to give them a structural upgrade while making sure they were insulated, they fixed the plumbing and there was a big focus on fire safety.

The old materials were replaced without compromising the character of the buildings. In one of the buildings next to the offices there is a gorgeous party venue with a monumental staircase that is totally stealing the show.

Today the renovation works are still ongoing. In 2019 the building got a solar panel upgrade and there were some restoration works on the outer walls.

In 2020 they have foreseen a new cultural destination for the basement. It will be reshaped in a polyvalent space for the creative sector.

Left: map of the old site and its redefinition – Middle: aerial view of the factory – Right: The Baldwin office in 2019

A logo with history

You might have noticed that the Baldwin is a fenix. The mythical bird that gets reborn from its own ashes to start over its life. This way the mythical animal is immortal.
The logo of Baertsoen & Buysse was a bird and we gave it a second life with our fenix.

The Baldwin office today

“Our office is such a nice place to work. I just left the house and it immediately feels like coming home when I arrive at my cozy desk filled with green plants while I am welcomed with the smell of fresh coffee. Starting the day with a broad smile on my face.”

As soon as you enter our building and take the old staircase towards the Baldwin office you feel the history with every stair step you walk on. The part of our building has been the offices of the directors and the board of the old textile factory. The type machines have now made place for fancy IMac’s, the old desks are replaced with standing desks and the space is now split up in offices, meeting rooms, breakroom, and a cozy dining room.

Instead of textile we now create stunning e-commerce websites for the fashion industry. So in that way, we sticked to our textile roots. Of course we also work on other projects. Have a look at our portfolio, or just hop into our office for a fresh coffee and a chat about your next online project.

webshop ontwerp en ontwikkeling bij Baldwin in gent

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