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Global Architecture Platform

Structure and Gardens

Brussels, 2016

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 in 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 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 in closed family gardens and revives with the well-known historical model of the hortus conclusus through contemporary conditions. From that point of view, 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 for metropolitan entertainments.


Architecture: BAUKUNST (Adrien Verschuere, Benoît Delpierre, Fabian Maricq), Brussels
Landscape Design: Landinzicht (Bjorn Gielen), Brussels
Structural Engineering: Util (Rolf Vansteenwegen), Brussels

Procedure: Shortlisted competition (Laureate)
Client: Commune de Molenbeek-St-Jean, Service des projets subsidiés
General contractor: Openair (David De Pelsmaeker), Brussels

Area: 1’250 sqm (Landscape) / 380 sqm (New building)
Budget: 675’000 € (Excl. VAT)
Date: 2009 Competition / 2010-11 Studies / 2012-14 Construction / 2015 Temporary delivery / 2016 Final delivery

Photo credits © Maxime Delvaux

22.Dec.2017 8147 views
Adrien Verschuere, BAUKUNST BAUKUNST

BAUKUNST was founded by Adrien Verschuere in Brussels in 2008 as a continuation of its activities in Switzerland. Being a synthesis between the capacity to build (Bau) and design (Kunst), BAUKUNST considers architecture in its ability to build a thinking as well as to think a building. Its main projects and researches were several times exhibited and awarded internationally – recently the nomination at the Mies van der Rohe Prize 2017 for its two first built projects.

Adrien Verschuere (Bruxelles, 1976) studied in Architecture at ISA St-Luc Tournai and at the EPFL. Between 2000 and 2003, he was design architect at the office of Herzog & de Meuron and collaborated with OMA – Rem Koolhas until 2001. Adrien Verschuere is the co-founder of the architecture firm Made in in Geneva. From 2003 until 2006, he has taught at the EPFL. In 2008, he established BAUKUNST. Besides his current teaching position at the Université Catholique Louvain, studio tutor, Adrien Verschuere is regularly invited as guest critic or lecturer in various institutions, among others : FAUP Porto, IRGE Universität Stuttgart, Berlage Institute, Accademia Architettura Mendrisio, ETHZ and EPFL.

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