CONVERSION OF A FORMER BREWERY AND MALTERY ALONG THE ALBERT CANAL NEAR ANTWERP INTO A MIXED-USE PROJECT | DIRECT COMMISSION BY THE CLIENT
click here for a reportage on the project
click here to see the interior of the cubes
click here to see the project website of Vervoordt r.e.
click here to see the Flickr-photostream of Vervoordt r.e.
click here to see the interview
A cluster of partially empty but highly valuable industrial structures on the Albert Canal near Antwerp is transformed into a mixed-use project. Along with a program of workshops, offices, underground car park and showrooms for Axel Vervoordt, the majority of the site is reallocated to housing.
BOGDAN & VAN BROECK designed the workshops for Axel Vervoordt, the underground car park and 5 new buildings named Cubes, 4 filled with housing and the 5th with offices for showrooms.
The Cubes take maximum advantage of the location by the waterway and the relationship with the industrial constructions on the site, and this by resorting to well-considered visual axis-lines. Architecture is here conceived of as a window on the world. This notion is applied at various scale levels.
A harmonious relationship between the private and public spaces is diligently pursued. To that effect, carefully selected open spaces have been retained in between the Cubes that allow a clear unimpeded view upon the existing buildings, to the silos, to the Canal, and to the interspersed clearings. These open spaces are conceived as outdoor rooms with impressive views.
A new housing typology was developed by stacking individual duplexes in 3 dimensions. The morphology of these duplexes results from the integration of qualities and constraints such as sunlight, privacy, view, the inclusion of winter gardens and the desire to provide each duplex with three facades.
The duplexes offer a standard of excellence in quality of habitation and, simply, in the general quality of life. Every duplex has at least three faces and features a double height space with a 6 meters high foldable window which opens towards the outside. The distribution of interior features and window openings have been designed in such a manner that optimum advantage is taken of the view to the outside and of the natural lighting, and yet with retention of individual privacy.
The Cubes combine a high density with a unique quality of life and an individual character for each dwelling. Through variations in forms and types of planning, and through the individual realisation of the facades for each duplex, every home is seen as a unique and recognisable element within one larger cohesive unit.