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Textual content description supplied by the architects. NOTAN OFFICE, a Brussels-based structure, and concrete design observe have demonstrated its experience in remodeling industrial courtyards into housing ensembles whereas preserving the essence of the place. The agency’s architectural technique includes reusing in-situ parts and structural elements, which helps them to create a powerful id that blends previous, current, and future. By sustaining the present DNA of the positioning, NOTAN OFFICE avoids disrupting the positioning’s historic significance, and their strategy promotes a way of continuity and respect for the positioning’s heritage. This method is very related for city improvement initiatives, because it encourages a sustainable strategy to structure that values a location’s historical past and cultural heritage.
Microcity. The challenge is in-built a dense space of Brussels, close to the canal, a traditionally industrial space. The sq. dealing with the plot is an energetic city pocket the place trams, markets, colleges, church buildings, and public actions meet. This combine was additionally very current within the given plot. On the sq., an outdated townhouse from the late 1800s hides two lengthy industrial halls sharing a courtyard.
On this saturated context and by “digging” contained in the constructed mass of the plot, a housing ensemble is created with 3 multi-oriented volumes sharing a beneficiant widespread backyard.
The challenge is an agglomeration of volumes and scales in a inexperienced space. A typical Brussels townhouse, its extension resembling a Roman destroy, a brick industrial façade, some rounded steps, some parts of the previous constructions, and the brand new tiled volumes; all with their non-public outside area overlooking the widespread backyard… From the general public sq., as quickly as the principle door opens, a clean transition between public, widespread, and personal, and the flowing between the constructed seems like strolling in a small village, a microcity.
On this concept of producing a small neighborhood, the bottom flooring is organized with applications that belong to everybody. The bicycle parking and a small atelier inside glass bricks are beneath the central quantity. Semi-private gardens and residing areas articulate the widespread space. On this shared floor flooring, all is fluid and clear, accentuating the ensemble’s sense of belonging.
Genius Loci. The challenge respects the DNA of the place. Reworking an industrial web site into housing shouldn’t kill its unique id. A promotional challenge on such a web site shouldn’t rhyme with white-plastered facades and plastic home windows.
Big consideration was given to the supplies. For the outside in addition to for then the indoor, the materiality avoids any artifice. They’re proven as they’re and valued as ornaments. The concrete blocks haven’t any paint, the construction is proven and the challenge composes with them. No half blocks, no half tiles; all match.
On high of that many parts are current on web site earlier than the challenge is reused, reinterpreted, and reorganized. Current doorways contained in the residences, the “porphire” tiles reorganized for the outside path, and the central constructing is partly supported by the previous concrete construction of the previous shed.
The brand new quantity’s form is inside the former shed’s outlines. Setbacks had been crucial to enhance the residing high quality of every unit. This natural transformation of shapes generates peculiar spatial qualities that may solely belong to that particular place. The crimson quantity is an enormous summary quantity standing on a clear floor stage. This sturdy id belongs to the economic language but in addition turns into tailored to housing on this surroundings.
The challenge needs to delay the previous historical past and respect the “spirit of the place”, it went from trade to housing however continues to be in an industrial surroundings.
Inside. Each new volumes contained in the courtyard are towards the neighboring partitions. These partitions are “inflated” with a purpose to host all technical parts in addition to circulation, kitchens, bogs, and loos. Dwelling areas and bedrooms are due to this fact pushed in the direction of the façade and the sunshine.