THE RENOVATION OF 2 PROTECTED RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS BY VICTOR BOURGEOIS IN ST. AGATHA BERCHEM AND ITS CITÉ MODERNE | OPEN COMPETITION ORGANISED BY THE CLIENT
With the Cité Moderne, Victor Bourgeois introduced and implemented the ideas of Modernism in Belgium. In 1925, the Cité Moderne played a leading role in urban and social development. Almost 100 years later, this position must be reaffirmed.
Because restoration also means preparing our heritage for the future, we aim to prepare the neighbourhood for the next 100 years by improving the performance of the envelopes and reducing the energy needs, managing resources coherently and revitalizing the social project of the time. Before becoming an architectural style, Modernism was indeed – above all – a social ideology. Our proposal ensures, through the implementation of a participatory process, the restoration of the cooperative of the time, a social heritage in its own right.
The plan designed by Victor Bourgeois for the ‘type K’ of the Cité Moderne is remarkably efficient. It proposes – with few resources – an exemplary spatial organization. The rooms are juxtaposed and offer diagonal relationships that enlarge the spaces.
Bourgeois’ plan is also extremely flexible. His “common room” is extended to the garden side in order to offer double aspect living rooms. This organization allows the inhabitants to take full advantage of the East-West orientation chosen by Bourgeois. It also offers the inhabitants a living room composed of two spaces. These can – simultaneously – welcome various uses and allow each member of the household to claim the spaces.