Structure and gardens . Brussels

Baukunst . photos: © Maxime Delvaux

The project fit into a broader context which aims to create new public spaces among particularly dense urban environments, taking part of a metropolitan tradition in Brussels composed by a constellation of fractional and informal pocket parks. The bicephalous client – represented both by regional and municipal authorities – illustrate the political ambition to merge into single projects, urban scale intentions and nearby interventions.

From a closer point of view, this initiative aims to open up spontaneous and proliferating private constructions most commonly located at the heart of urban blocks. By transforming the status of the original leftover site, the project postulates for a new balance between public and private places. Through the creation of a new shared place, the landscape design counterbalances the lack of outdoor spaces for the existing neighborhood.
The project’s neutrality meets the programmatically non-defined hypothesis assigned to this specific public space, it guarantees polyvalence and reversibility of uses in order to provide a long-lasting platform for the city. The site offers a new open-air “chamber” – in addition to actual public buildings – and would be managed and animated, by appointments, with local associative communities.
The site dimension and the absence of any specific equipment confer to the project a typological ambiguity – nor a court, nor a patio, nor a park, nor a garden – a space of “all the probability” which finds its origin out of closed garden’s family and reviveswith the well-known historical model of the “hortus conclusus” through contemporary conditions. From that respect, the project is preliminary based on the redefinition of new boundaries, regarding both their administrative implantation and their architectural treatment.
The project finds part of its identity through a paradoxical situation: at the same time open, because of its passing character, and closed, because of the strong definition of its limits. It intends to be both confined and inflated, stable and diffuse. The presence of a new canopy extends this particular feeling by means of completing walls with another primary architectural elements: a roof. It institutes a new reference figure among a deconstructed urban context, a primitive shelter dedicates for metropolitan entertainments.

Project Titel: Structure and gardens
Client: Municipality of Molenbeek-St-Jean, Brussels
Location: Rue des Quatre-Vents, Brussels
Design: 2009-2010
Completion: 2014
Architecture: BAUKUNST
Design team: Adrien Verschuere, Benoit Delpierre, Fabian Maricq.
Structural engineer: Util
Landscape designer: Landinzicht
General contractor: Openair

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