Paleizenstraat 153 - 1030 Brussels
T 022444430 F 022444431 E

Refurbishment of a house into an evening school and social housing

Location :
Ixelles, Brussels
Client :
Commune of Ixelles
Cost :
437.415,26 EUR excl VAT
Surface :
270 m2
Team :
Subcontractors :
JZH & Partners
Planning :
Category :
A small project for a small house. Better : a large glasshouse for a small house.
The house remains a house, and does not need to be reinvented.

The homework programme is hosted in the large glass house. Very simple in appearance, refined detailing in reality. A wood and steel curtain wall. A floor of polished concrete. An inverted structure of hanging steel blades. A drop shaped terrace. Playful yet constructively refined.

Based on the good condition of the existing structure, the project aims to minimize the energetic impact of future consumption as well as of the renovation itself.

The energy gains of a strategic renovation are indeed more substantial than the one linked to a heavy intervention to reach the passive standard. Our methodology is therefore based on three clear approaches that structure the project:

- To retain the existing structure and limit the consumption of grey energy related to the demolition and reconstruction as well as the nuisance during the construction.
- To take advantage of the existing typology by preserving the spatial qualities and by reorganizing the accesses and the new functions by clear punctual interventions.
- To adapt all the techniques to the energy standards (insulation, heating, ventilation, ...)

Given the narrowness of the house, the project favors a common entrance hall. It is the communication node of the house and the possible link with the community room of the neighboring house. This allows not to distort the modenature of the house in front and to keep a maximum of space available for the homework school. In addition, this mixed access creates both a link and social control: it is a place for sharing, open to the homework school and the community room.

The redesign of the homework school on the first floor is developed around the patio between the house and the annex. A large wooden curtain wall encompasses the exterior space, provides light, and gives coherence to the multi-purpose rooms grouped around this space open to the heart of the block. A series of interventions allows the different reception spaces of the homework school to be autonomous while welcoming new functions and installations.

The homework school is thus made of a succession of large open and independent rooms. The community room of the neighboring house is naturally integrated into this succession of spaces.

The renovation of the housing on the upper floors takes advantage of the existing spatialities. Specific interventions allow the clear definition of the accesses, the functional use of the existing spaces, the integration of the energy techniques and the creation of a private exterior space.

(Extracts from the Competition Proposal)