Luc Binst is Binst Architects’ CEO, a company with a history of 45 year. After the death of founder Jo Crepain in 2008, partner Luc Binst took over. Last year he gave the company a new impuls with a new name, a new office and some new side branches. In this video Luc talks about growth and innovation within his architectural office.
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“Binst Architects is an agency dating back 45 years, which was founded by the late Jo Crepain. When I joined the agency in 98, there were 35 employees, and two years later, there were 65 employees. During our heyday about 60% of our turnover was in the Netherlands. One month after my partner, the founder of the agency, died, the Dutch market collapsed. We lost all of our revenue in three or four months' time. And I had to let 30 people go in the space of a few weeks. Then we grew again, over the past three years, back to 50 to 55 employees. Today, our Belgian office is doing the best it's done in 45 years.”
“I'm an analytical person. I approach everything from a macro perspective. A few times a year I draw up schemes, so I can literally see how my agency works. It gives me the opportunity to critically reflect. How much revenue does a contract bring? What's my billing for the coming year? Where can I find the buffer to hire extra staff? If you see a negative economic turn coming, you've got to respond quickly,vand it often happens too late.”
“Jo Crepain was like a second father to me. After his death, out of great respect to him, we kept the former name of the agency for ten years. But we saw that, in recent years, we'd been doing other work and that there was a different clientele that was less focussed on the past but more on the future. In 2018, we felt it was time to change the agency's name. Binst Architects is an office with a new ambition: heading into the future as a young, dynamic and stable team.”
“Every month we have ‘Management Monday’, where I circulate ten important questions in the office. I divide the people into groups to think about the questions and then we mix it up. That gives me loads of tools to help continually adjust who needs to support what where, what potential margins there are and how we can apply that with new opportunities.”
“It was time to invest in a number of side-lines, including B scene, our gallery which we opened on the corner of this street. Our B brand is a new design label, where we want to promote design furniture and high-end interiors in the market as a new, abstract label. And thirdly, B 7 is a kind of meet-and-greet initiative. We really want to see Luikstraat 7 as a very accessible place, where we’ll try working together across various disciplines.”
This video has been produced by De Machine.