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a2o Hasselt

Vissersstraat 2

B-3500 Hasselt

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a2o Brussel

Timmerhoutkaai 4

B–1000 Brussel

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Bampslaan

Open urban block as an insertion into the station area

Hasselt, Belgium
2016 - ...
AP&D + Liburni Projects
a2o-architecten 
10.310 m2 + 3.900 m2 

The area around the Hasselt railway station, between the historic centre and the Grote Ring, is a dynamic area full of dualities. On the one hand, it is an urbanised district with little social contact or substantial green areas, on the other hand there is the presence of a number of soft connection routes. It is marked by strained relationship between existing historic buildings and the desired urban view of a station quarter. The promise of future developments, but the absence of a catalyst.

Over the years, there have been various initiatives, which jointly led to a steady change in the perception of this area. A catalyst emerged in 2016, in the form of Temporary Lane, a diverse series of temporary shops, studios and creative labs. The effect was like an urban defibrillator: a positive impulse to remedy the (temporary) heart failure in the street and restore the circulation.

Two years later, the Bamstat project capitalises on this dynamism by both continuing and strengthening the qualities present and rolling out a vision of future developments in the area. The design creates a perforated urban block with a green inner zone that fills in the missing link between the existing soft connections. This semi-public courtyard doubles as a green link between the various blocks.

The duality between higher and lower volumes is counterbalanced by retaining the original building height at the street side and creating an elevation further back. The project presents itself as an accent towards the station, but remains firmly founded in the existing context. The bend of the Station Square towards the Bampslaan is the ideal starting point for a special development and revaluation of the area.

The urban block, receding from the current boundary of the site, makes a generous gesture, creating breathing space to the avenue and enabling high-quality public functions at ground-floor level. The restrained palette of the concrete and brickwork allows this powerful combination of volumes to refer to the colouration of its surroundings. Refined details are created with the polished or etched finish of concrete and bronze with timberwork.

To cater for a diversity of lifestyles, budgets and family situations, it was decided to create a large number of housing typologies, ranging from student accommodation to three-bedroom apartments and starter homes. This typological mix and the presence of public functions makes the Bampslaan project a permanently lively place.

In combination with the premium green space concept and the pronounced programme mix, the project helps transform the station quarter from a passage into a meeting space.

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