Gembloux

2012

Competition: Housing complex including ground floor retail facing the Gembloux train station.

Client
Ville de Gembloux
Services engineer
/
Surfaces
10 058 m² above ground level
Budget
8 130 000 € htva

Complete description

For its northern part, this competition project follows the existing built alignment, offering a façade resonating off the main entrance of the train station opposite, thus effectively creating a lively plaza around which shops are integrated at ground floor level. Housing is committed to the first floor and above, and these units in turn, are at ground level at the back.

Going to the smaller perpendicular Rue du Buisson St Guibert, the built volumes are interrupted by a welcoming opening amongst them, its proportions close to those already dotting the neighborhood, but doubling here as a friendly semi-public space for the residents. The resulting geometry is one which takes advantage of maximum available sunlight inundating homes and gardens, all connected by shady pedestrian paths winding gently between them.

For its southern side, housing is positioned back from the existing alignment in order to make the most of the site’s natural slope with respect to the train station, as well as to offer relative intimacy. Access level is therefore raised with respect to the Rue de la Station (first floor level with respect to the station plaza) thus supplying ample opportunity for dissimulating all common parking zones both underneath the housing and behind commercial entities. Particular attention is paid to all shared space and landscaping, each ‘clos’ integrating a maximum of ten to twelve families. Added to this, the reduced scale present throughout fosters communication between neighbors.

Materials used for the cladding makes use of light tones for an uplifting effect: white-painted brick set upon a base of slightly rose-tinted varnished brick is used throughout.