Burchtstraat Social Housing Leuven
newly built social housing
The project location is remarkable in many ways: it is located at the end of the new urban planning area around Vaartkom, it serves as a gateway to the city at the foot of Keizersberg Hill and it establishes a link between the historical industrial site and existing residential blocks. In addition, it resides between two green spaces and it has a unique polygonal shape. This location is begging for a unique building with a strong identity.
DIFFERENTIATED VOLUME PLANNING
The design is a resolute choice for an architectural ensemble with the power of a monolithic volume entering into dialogue with the existing industrial heritage. It manages to achieve a layered functionality, however, through differentiated volume planning and a specific interpretation depending on the sides of the block; Keizersberg hill on the north side, the residential street (Glasblazerijstraat) on the west side and the future bicycle passage on the side of the new park.
The construction follows the irregular building line, creating a polygonal structure enclosing a secluded courtyard. This public square is the heart of the project - the inside of the husk.
The inner and outer shells of the building each respond to the surrounding context in their own way. The outer shell consists of a horizontally articulated facade offering panoramic views on the adjacent green spaces.
"The inner shell has a more intimate character with vertical openings in the facade directed towards the inner courtyard. The cut-outs on the ground floor subtly reveal this duality, leading the courtyard to arouse curiosity." – Michiel Verhaverbeke, architect & director POLO Architects
photography: Matthias Vanhoutteghem
Dijledal housing company
winning competition design