News

JARDIN D'UNION DUE IN AUTUMN

163 new homes will be finished here by autumn, complete with street-level shops and offices, a day-care centre, and communal amenities. Facade details are now apparent  and notably white metal work contrasting with grey brick, while interior finishes progress. The busy boulevard relates with the sloped gardens behind via two generous double-height porches strategically positioned to create effective permeability between front and back. These

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CANAL DISTRICT DONE

Developed by client Besix Red, CANAL DISTRICT has reached completion. Façades in light-coloured plissé aluminium are finished, with glazed street-entrances animating the ground floor and extending all the way back to court-side. Here dark-toned balconies cantilevered 3m out are all in place, carefully arranged to ensure maximum privacy for all occupants. A double-height porch precisely positioned on the rue Notre-Dame du Soleil's fold now bears its

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RIVA ON SITE

RIVA, including canal-side housing and a public plaza, is designed by architectesassoc for client Extensa. On site since end 2017, it is due finished mid-2019. The plaza will connect the Quartier Nord east and the Tours&Taxis neighbourhood west and from it a long-awaited bridge already under construction will bring pedestrians from one bank to another, along with a new bus line. Thus the project's potential impact at city-scale, similar to that of a

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CITY DOCKS

Principal volumes on CITY DOCKS are now visible, façades and interiors on their way. Street-side façades follow a repetitive grid (shown here) conforming to the modular semi-industrial function below, but canal-side variation purposely reigns with a hop-scotch of carved-in terraces, balconies, single and double height units and rooftop living space all already visible. The photo above highlights the project's most difficult challenge: how to create a

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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

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HD54 permit delivered

Entering Brussels from the east, the Forêt de Soignes abrubtly ends on your right giving rise to a non-descript string of questionable 1980’s po-mo feats. That said, however dissuasive the sculptural antics, the main issue is that these obsolete relics constitute Brussels’ greatest contribution to GHG. Tear it all down ? but HD54’s existing structure is sound, and volumes surprisingly promising. Developer AXA

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City Dox on site

A century back mixity was an integral and unquestioned part of city living : imagine Amsterdam’s Canal Houses commingling shops, living quarters and attics for stock. Today it’s become tricky, especially at large scale, and CITY DOX on site since end 2016 is no exception to the rule. Built on a non-descript brownfield site stranded alongside a noisy car-ridden artery, the project combines housing, offices, and

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Developing Brussels' waterfront

Side by side, two of architectesassoc’s upcoming housing projects alongside the canal sit left and right of the pedestrian Pont Picard currently at tender stage. CANAL WHARF (developed by AGRealEstate & Vooruitzicht) and QUAI DE WILLEBROECK (developed by Extensa) will together actively participate in regenerating a zone brimming with potential. Indeed, these two choice waterfront locations confirm Brussels’ effort to

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Jardin d'union on site

The majority of jardin d'union’s principal volumes are now visible, offering a view of the coming skyline. Not easy slipping 163 new homes into the existing built fabric unnoticed … especially when they emerge all at once … but the limited number of flats organized around each vertical distribution thus breaking the ensemble up into digestible sub-parts should help. The dark brick skin will soon appear, and

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Orban

Hidden behind a majestic neo-classical façade facing one of the Quartier Leopold’s most iconic squares, ORBAN comprises 17000sqm of existing office space. The dense extremely efficient lay-out concentrates views overlooking peaceful inner-block gardens, proposing accesses on both the Square Orban west and the Rue d’Arlon east. Like HD54, these intrinsic qualities already making the most of what the site has to offer

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Chaussee d'ixelles

This 9000sqm retail and housing development includes the exhaustive but careful renovation of a delicate century-old steel and concrete structure nestled in the heart of a typical city block in the dense neighbourhood of Ixelles. The client Redevco Belgium and architectesassoc are pushing to integrate both retail and housing here, keen on proving that neither of the two is necessarily exclusive. That said, as in

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Leopold tower mock-up

Given both the scale of the LEOPOLD project and the level of detailing prefabrication requires, a mock-up has been installed on site. The all-white double-skin envelope replaces the original 1970's dark and dull pre-fab version, proposing instead an insulated timber facade panel equipped with large sliding windows, a 1,6m deep terrace, and perforated sliding screens. Hands-on, all participants can take the time to see,

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a reinvigorated canal zone

The illustration above shows architectesassoc’s investment alongside one of Brussels’ most active building zones for years to come. Multi-functional ensembles are planned here by public and private sectors hand-in-hand, from housing to care homes to workspaces of all kinds, such as those designed by the studio for Atenor (CITY DOCKS) or citydev (GREENBIZZ). But housing gets the

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Leopold tower: permits delivered

architectesassoc’s 3-ply competition projet for the reconversion of a 1970’s office block has been re-mastered by client MATEXI, resulting in this flattened-out permit version recently approuved by City and Regional authorities. The debate surrounding its form has not affected its innards comprising more than 200 ultra-modular energy-efficient flats wrapped up in a timber skin, and topped off with a photo-voltaïc

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canal zone: city docks green light

In great part as a result of the real estate market reacting to the city’s middle-income housing shortage, the canal zone in Brussels has been the object of several recent urban regeneration projects spreading from Anderlecht to Vilvoorde. City Docks for example is the first built entity of a larger–scale Masterplan developped hand-in-hand by client Atenor and planning authorities, covering 2,5 hectares alongside the

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rue de namur on site

A multi-disciplinary design team led by client LCEBE (represented by Sophie Le Clercq) has brought together architectesassoc, Setesco, Cenergie and contractor CIT Blaton who have in concert conceived a 7 000 sqm office retro-fit on site now, upgrading circulation routes, facades, user-comfort and overall energy-efficiency. Interior demolitions are rapidly uncluttering existing floorplates revealing high-ceilinged

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greenbizz teamwork

« Coming together is the beginning _ keeping together is progress _ working together is success.» (Henry Ford) Greenbizz’s timber-glass canopies shown here under construction constitute a salient example of Ford’s quote. Design requirements plopped together contractor CEI-DEMEYER, engineers from NEY&Partners collaborating with SECO, and cladders Groven+ _ who stuck together after a nervous start

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canal district: foundations laid

The variety of existing built forms making up this heterogeneous city block explains why excavations and foundations are currently undertaken with such care.  Pollution on site has already been dealt with, so the underground parking will begin to take form soon. Work should finish before end 2016, slipping into place amongst a complex network of existing buildings and party walls. The ensemble will provide

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haveskercke - bambou: readying in progress

« What a difference a (tree) makes » … preparations underway include careful pruning and protection of the majestic oaks, birches, and willows conserved … the project itself designed in order to let these trees be, twisting itself complyingly. In a similar respectful manner rooftops follow off-skew geometry allowing maximum sunlight into gardens and flats. The

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greenbizz: last laps

It may not look like it quite yet, but Greenbizz will be finished by september 2015, explaining the increasing rush and excitement on site. Façade cladding is coming to an end, be it the Kerto panels in pressure-treated timber meticulously crafted by Roses’s Natural Homes, the top-floor Kalzip panels in natural aluminium, or the agora’s structural glazing installed by a fantastic team led by Cei-DeMeyer (Jonckheere, Ney&Partners, and Groven+).

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"Des fenêtres colorées dans la ville", by Y. Zurstrassen

Upgrading the existing building stock is a priority in order to limit carbon emissions and site-impact, but it is also a wonderful exercise in changing our perception of what surrounds us. Here on the avenue de Tervuren in Brussels work recently finished in collaboration with Belgian artist Yves Zurstrassen shows that taking a novel look at what we thought we’d already fully grasped can bring forth both fresh and exemplary sustainable

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greenbizz closes the brussels environment agency sustainable building seminar

On February 6th, participants of this seminar organized by the Brussels Environment Agency had the opportunity to examine progress on-site up close. Greenbizz being about no-fuss low-cost sustainable construction, Pauline de Somer from CENERGIE and Laura Claeys from architectesassoc. highlighted the pragmatic choices made here hand-in-hand with citydev. Material choice, techniques, and especially maintenance-impact were discussed.

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square de meeus: finished?

Almost. Refurbishment of this 1970s mastodon concerns interior fit-out and services, offering greater user-comfort and energy efficiency. New finishes upgrade comfort, and extensive efforts are made in order to bring the building up to code concerning Belgian fire-safety regulations.

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canal district kickoff

Demolitions have started on the Clos du Marais housing scheme, in the booming Canal District. 205 flats and a day-care center are programmed, organized around a semi-public planted garden. Due end 2016, the ensemble is designed in order to meet PassiveHouse standards.

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10 years in the making

First sketches of the Boulevard de l’Empereur project date back to 2005, but the result was worth the wait. All parties appreciated the intense collaboration with committed client and contractors, carefully monitored by Brussels Heritage radars. The minimalist concrete structure is wrapped with metal-clad prefabricated timber panels, ensuring energy efficiency through air-tightness, insulation, and dual-flow ventilation.

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