2011 - 2012

Competition : Ecosensitive home renting rue Picard in Molenbeek

  • passive
  • residential
  • office
  • private
  • refurbishment
  • new build
rue Picard, 204 1080 Brussels
Urbani sa
Structural engineering
Services engineer
± 2 000 m²
2 600 000 € htva

Complete description

Street-side, Picard’s discreet massing mimics neighbors, obediently fitting into its built surroundings. But back-side, the exceptional depth of the site allows the creation of a new flow between existing and projected geometries all the way through to the innermost part of the block.

A two-level covered porch generously announces access to shops and offices located near the entrance, as well as to vertical distributions leading to upper levels. Further down upon entering the site, the first existing volume belonging to a former garage, with its slender reinforced concrete skeleton, is preserved. However the old showroom is dismantled, creating breathing space enough for a small garden, around which communal space in timber framework is nestled. Other parts of the concrete skeleton are redesignated as distribution networks, covered car-parking and roofs for the residential units. It is pierced through approximately one third of its surface to allow light and sunshine into both gardens and homes. Modular housing units delicately poised are designed as prefabricated timber cubes, simply deposited upon the existing slabs.

The project's leitmotivs are simplicity, coherence and a poetic resonance, aiming to respond to an engaging and generous sustainable housing program in which opportunities for exchange are encouraged.