TOWARDS A CIRCULAR FUTURE
Although the term circular design has more recent origins, since its creation more than 20 years ago architectesassoc+ has been investigating and engaging in this direction.
Indeed, at their time of conception back when low-energy construction was the primary focus, Aeropolis II (2006) and the ELIA headquarters (2010) were respectively the largest passive and NZEB office buildings in the Benelux. But they were also first-of-a-kind reversible, low-foot-print ensembles : their prefab modular wooden facades were an integral part of the concept, the skin able to be dismantled and easily renewed, making them extremely flexible in the long run. Further renovation projects like the Rue de Namur and HD54 have taken these ideas further, evolving and refining these unique skins, with their highly resistant exterior claddings often belying their underlying timber structure.
Such is also true in Leopold Views, a disused office tower recently transformed into a residential high-rise at the entrance of Brussels.
For years now, most of the studio's projects turn around a similar durable core - whether it be new or existing - and lighter, smarter infill elements inside and out. Hence modifications and/or dismantling is all the easier.
Investing in projects targeting reuse and future readiness is key. architectesassoc+ is currently transforming the abandoned Royal Mint (KMR) along the Pacheco Boulevard into a multifunctional hub where office space, co-living, bars and shops meet. Here the brief is reversed: the mission is to maintain the architectural character of the iconic building, while adapting it to present and future needs. Project under research for Befimmo.