The winning proposal by C.F. Møller Architects and BRUT for this new neighbourhood of 500 homes combines green spaces, playgrounds and high and low-rise apartments.
The new urban project in De Nieuwe Stad quarter in Ostend is set to replace the outdated neighbourhood, which was built in 1972 by two social housing associations.
The proposal aims to create an innovative, inclusive and sustainable housing project that includes 10 low-rise buildings and four tall tower blocks.
A new bicycle and walking connection between the city centre and the green belt around the city, following the course of a former creek, ensures that the neighbourhood is taken out of its isolation.
Meanwhile, The Creek Park, a spacious landscape park, increases the quality of life and the opportunities for social interaction and recreation.
The Creek Park becomes a new green centrality for the neighbourhood and the surrounding residential areas with space for the reopened creek, sustainable water management, recreation, nature and a pleasant path structure.
At neighbourhood scale, the sense of community is enhanced by collecting compact houses around three distinct forecourts that act as a bridge between the existing and new buildings.
Here, the entrances of the houses are situated, along with playgrounds and a compact car access and parking system.
On the scale of the buildings, the homes have spacious terraces, generous views and shared spaces.
Inspiration for the architecture came from the existing modernist buildings as well as the surrounding residential areas and the historic villas at the Belgian coast.
“We combine these types into an innovative form of living that combines density with domesticity, a sense of community and human scale,” said Lone Wiggers, partner and architect at C.F. Møller Architects.
“[It is} a housing typology that leaves ample space for a green landscape and maximally profits from this quality.”
A total of 54 architectural firms wanted to enter the competition, and clients De Oostendse Haard’ and ‘De Gelukkige Haard’ selected the team of C.F. Møller Architects and BRUT as the winners from a shortlist of four firms.
“This project offers a unique opportunity to restore the image of high-rise typologies within the context of social housing, especially since the current residents declare they like living in the neighbourhood,” said Gunther Slagmeulder, architect and partner at BRUT.
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