Living in a collectif landscape in Flanders

Study commissioned by the Flemish government’s Architect in collaboration with UGent: Labo S (Michiel Dehaene and Bruno Notteboom) and Labo A (Kris Coremans).

Designteam Bovenbouw: Dirk Somers, Sam Lanckriet, Marius Grootveld, Jana Hlavova, Gosia Olchowska and Eline Aerts.

Aerial picture of the suburban area south of Antwerp

A landscapist approach of the suburban: Nicolas Poussin, Paysage avec les funérailles de Phocion (1648)

The rural layer of the urban sprawl

The urban sprawl today

A trendvision for the urban sprawl

An alternative, landscapist scenario for the urban sprawl

Existing zoning plan

Probable development scenario

Alternative development scenario

The landscapist situation for the narrow hem. The narrow hem is a compact and linear type which is particularly useful for hemming the lateral side of a parcel.

Existing zoning plan

Probable development scenario

Alternative development scenario

The landscapist situation for the broad hem. The broad hem is a linear type which is particularly useful for the hemming of the lateral side of a building lot. The difference to the narrow hem is the more generous size of the broad hem. Because of this it also relates better to a more spacious rural size.

Existing zoning plan

Probable development scenario

Alternative development scenario

The antichambre is an apartment building parallel to the street. By locating the building at the rear end of the garden, it starts tu function as a gate to the upcoming landscape behind. It hereby marks the border between a small and middle scale parcel system.

Existing zoning plan

Probable development scenario

Alternative development scenario

The corner building is an apartment building that shapes a particular corner of the rural parcel.

Existing zoning plan

Probable development scenario

Alternative development scenario

The residential barn is a two sided variation on the hem typology. Due to the symmetrical section, the residential barn combines the form of the antichambre and the spacial principals of the narrow hem.

Existing zoning plan

Probable development scenario

Alternative development scenario

The carré is the single most autonomous figure of the presented collection. The type works best in an free standing layout.

Development logic of a building block.

In the first phase a large part of the housing development area is taken up by the living shed. In return for this densification the green strip from the steenweg (mainroad) is kept free and the housing area is rezoned as a green zone (mainly agrarian but also partly recrenational.)

A bike ride along the residential barn.

Another series sparsely filled parcels along the steenweg are being redeveloped using the narrow hem. The hem allows for the internal area to be relieved a second time. Again due to densification a green for red rezoning is taking place. The result is a rich green network and better accessibility.

In the corner of the central area we project a corner buiding replacing a series of scattered small houses. The corner building accentuates the checkerboard and adds to the newly found green systems.

Some old houses are replaced by the antichambre figure along the adjacent housing street. Resulting in new changes to taste the scale of landscape among the clogging prospect today.

Walking the dog in the corner building.

A pocket landscape shaped by two narrow hem types that allows for a new entrance to the larger area. Slow traffic can now move parallel to the busy steenweg. The secondary green grid get's a significant shape.

Along the steenweg a carré develops. The block places itself according to the checkerboard logic in relation the the larger development. A third accesspoint to the steenweg is realized. With this operation we demonstrate the accumulation of fabric capacity that the grid of the checkerboard allows for. By densifying it we allow for the landscape to be reconnected with the primary housing function.

At the eastern end we fill a series of lots with three narrow hems. Hereby a pocket landscape is realized that does not incorporate the checkerboard logic, but in it's own way transforms shreds of vacant land in attractive open space.

Graze among the narrow hems.

This systematic logic could be extended to the city centre of Kontich. With some medium scale operations, each slightly increasing the local density, we create an alternative housing landscape. New functional systems and new landscapist stories go hand in hand with the realisation of a higher density.

Gardening in the wide hem.

Bird's-eye view of the project

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