CHAUSSEE D'IXELLES IN PROGRESS
Squeezed into a tight-knit traditional city-block, this mixed-use project CHAUSSEE D'IXELLES also integrates complex rehabilitation issues due to the historic wrought-iron structure covering most of the grand hall central to the project, dutifully restored and shown here. architectesassoc insisted not just on keeping theses delicate trusses, but on reintegrating between them skylights unfortunately obliterated years ago. For the large-scale PRIMARK soon to invest the light-filled volume, this is a far cry from the sealed off boxes usually proposed. But the apertures create a newfound relationship between retail space and the outside world, only to be doubled by extra efforts made to connect that same retail and the housing developed above and adjacent. Here again, natural light is the central theme: the sunny chaussée d'Ixelles is reserved for housing, goods and truck accesses are positioned north, well-oriented terraces are carved into existing rooftop forms, and new forms added only when those existing are too gloomy for healthy living. On site, notwithstanding the project's technical and spatial complexity, work should be finished by autumn.