Contemporary living on a strategic urban site
Faced with chronic motorway congestion heading in to the capital, a way for sustainable development is to focus on public transport by adding density to the areas along the main routes. The new ‘Kerkeveld’ neighbourhood is located on a 2-hectare industrial site just a stone’s throw from a train station on the outskirts of Brussels. It is a direct response to today’s urban mobility challenges. We also wanted to defend the responsible use of land reserves, so we based our project on the principles of ecology and densification.
The masterplan we have developed proposes a housing stock adapted to the diversity of modern households and modes of living: single-family houses, apartments, affordable housing, and housing for the elderly. The inclusion of commercial units around public squares allows for vibrant and animated community spaces, ensuring social sustainability.
A new urban centrality that reinforces the ecological network
The homes are coherently grouped, surrounded by a landscaped park shared with the other inhabitants of the city. We wanted to provide residents with a living environment in the heart of green spaces, close to public transport, without threatening the responsible balance between private space and sharing of public goods.
In this same urban approach, we thought of two public places around which the collective housing units are located. On the South side, the space favours sports and leisure. On the North side, the place adopts a more residential character and extends to link up with the station district. An ecological landscape designed to support biodiversity will link the North and South areas. These green spaces will include private and communal gardens where residents can socialise and develop urban farming plots.
The ‘Kerkeveld’ project illustrates our vision of a high-quality and rational urban development, with a strong environmental ethos.
Soft mobility on the surface and car parks in the basement
Most public spaces on the surface are free of motorised traffic, save for emergency access. We prioritised ‘soft mobility’ (non-motorised transport) and openness to the city: towards the North, the urban plan includes a covered pedestrian and cycle route, in the shelter of buildings, which will strengthen the link between the Church Square and Ruisbroek station.
In a functional and pragmatic choice, we have moved car traffic underground, where a car park located under the central square meets almost all the parking needs of the new neighbourhood. Around 70 places will also be available in a public car park, accessible to all residents of Ruisbroek.
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