Although the term circular design has more recent origins, for fifteen years now architectesassoc+ has been engaging and investigating in this direction. Indeed, at their time of conception back when low-energy construction was the primary focus, Aeropolis II (2006) and the ELIA headquarters (2010) were respectively the largest passive and NZEB office buildings in the Benelux. But they were also first-of-a-kind reversible, low-foot-print ensembles : their prefab modular wooden facades were an integral part of the concept, the skin able to be dismantled and easily renewed, making them extremely flexible in the long run. Further renovation projects like the Rue de Namur and HD54 took these ideas further, evolving and refining these unique skins, with their highly resistant exterior claddings often belying their underlying timber structure. Such is also true in Leopold Views, a disused office tower recently transformed into a shimmering residential high-rise at the entrance of Brussels. For years now, most of the studios projects turn around a durable core - whether it be new or existing - and lighter, smarter infill elements inside and out. We're more than thrilled to get ever more opportunities where reuse and future readiness are key. So now, looking towards an exciting future, we can't wait to reconvert the abandoned Royal Mint (KMR) along the Pacheco Boulevard into a multifunctional hub where office space, co-living, bars and shops meet. Here the brief is reversed: the mission is to maintain the architectural character of the iconic building, while adapting it to present and future needs. Project under research for Befimmo, stay tuned for more news !

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Canal Wharf set to start

With tender documents ready, and permits due this summer … Canal Wharf for client AG Real Estate is set to start on site by the end of the year. Following a Masterplan adopted in 2014, the project tightly fits into a corner plot shown left in orange, poised on the southern edge of this canal-side city block adjacent to the studio’s soon completed RIVA project shown right in green.  Optimum sunshine reaches the insides of the 71 flats proposed, and lateral views of Brussels’ main waterway are offered to most. The principal facade stretches down a new pedestrian-first east-west alley created for the occasion, limited to local traffic, and purposely designed to instill a slowed-down ambiance felt as soon as one turns the corner from busy main-street to tranquil side-street, heading towards the canal. All flats also have access to a shared central garden, offering a protected haven of green resting and play-space.  Canal Wharf is due completed in 2022.

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Following an international call for projects launched in 2019 by ATENOR, AG Real Estate and AXA IM on the existing CCN site adjacent to Brussels’ North Station (Centre Congrès Nord) shown here, the jury has selected the design proposed by architectesassoc+_Multiple_TVK. The planned 160.000 m² development articulating this key part of Brussels’ North District is a significant act of long-term faith in what we consider important at the studio: teamwork, engaged interactions, and a collective commitment to a robust, inclusive and vibrant city. Consequently intensive cross-collaborations with city, regional and transport Authorities are progressing, with a shared desire to collaborate effectively federating all. The future project conforms to a mixed-use brief, with equal attention paid to housing, offices and neighbourhood amenities, and to built and unbuilt square meters whether public or private. Thus the permit documents currently taking shape embody the huge potential such a diverse program offers, buoyed by the North District’s own innate but so far untapped potential.

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