Belgian design studio completes social housing conversion in Brussels
MDW ARCHITECTURE has recently completed the transformation of the former Brumétal dealer of old iron into a social housing complex composed of a four-flat building connected by a large common open space to three maisonettes at the rear of the site.
This project has been shortlisted for the ‘Belgian Award for Architecture and Energy 2011’ in the Collective Housing category. The winners will be announced on the 25th October during a ceremony at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
The general design reflects a contemporary approach based on the genius loci and on the requirements from the programme. It includes different typologies of accommodations: simplex, duplex and triplex from two to four bedrooms and organised in one apartment building and three terrace houses at the rear of the site.
Because the site was tightly enclosed by high party walls it was decided to clear the interior of the plot and to raise the maisonettes in order to maximise the amount of light captured and to take advantage of the best sunlight. This also allowed to accommodate a garage at street level and to avoid a total depollution of the site.
On the street front, the apartments have been raised and pushed back to create a first visual sequence between the road and the complex. By lowering the eastern party wall the oppressing feeling of the interior of the plot is reduced and more light penetrates into the interior of the plot.
A large circulation area is carved within the site and creates a wide meeting and playing area for residents. Each house also features a private garden and a recessed entrance to put some distance between the front door and the public space.