Densifying an urban landscape in Anderlecht
2016-... Design, competition laureate
a2o-architecten + Multiple
The Brussels Capital Region is currently at a turning point. More than ever before, the region is facing both powerful opportunities and serious challenges. What is at stake, is the expansion of a high-grade, innovative and inclusive European capital with a high quality of life and living.
The site located alongside the Adolphe Prinsstraat and the Adolphe Willemynsstraat in Anderlecht is one of those rare open spaces in a complex urbanised district. The existing use as allotments reflects the agricultural past of the municipality of Anderlecht of days gone by. The location, along a branch of the Molenbeek valley, identifies its embedding in the landscape and constitutes a unique topography.
Together with the current fragmented urban fabric, consisting of a historic approach road, modernist high-rise buildings and a more recent assisted living centre, this constitutes the basis for the design of a new structured landscape.
In the new design, the proposed buildings are grafted on a number of transparent and clearly defined public and semi-public spaces. In the axil of two streets, a small neighbourhood square has been envisioned, linked to a new day-care centre. Centrally located, there will be two large gardens, each with its own distinct character, but always respecting the existing slope and orientation. These open spaces provide the structure for the new building blocks and provide each block with an individual identity.
With 175 houses and more than 500 new inhabitants, a small village is being added to the existing neighbourhood. The new project requires a proper balance between public and private, between collective and individual. This will be based on delicate embedding, with respect for the human scale and well-considered integration.
The programme is divided into five volumes, whose architectural and volumetric fit into the new landscape is in keeping with its direct environment.