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2006_ CPAS ABRICOTIERS
Competition proposal for the headquarters of the CPAS, housing and a nursery

Location :
Brussels
Team :
AgwA
Subcontractors :
JZH and partners, ASM acoustic
Planning :
2020
Category :
Competition

Four programs share a single building, including an indivisible variety of housing. The structure of the project is totally flexible. Organised around two autonomous vertical circulation cores and a structural mesh in the concrete fašade, the space is open to all future developments.

Whether it evolves into an office building or strictly housing, or even a different distribution of the program, the structure and the circulation are perennial. The ceiling height (270cm) lends itself to flexibility.

Putting things in the right place, with measure. The business is on the corner: this is a given. The parking is on the ground floor: no ramp, long-term flexibility, access on rue Haute.

The day-care is on the first floor, on the same level as the rue de l'Abricotier: privacy and accessibility of the premises. The housing units are accessed from the same side: representing life in the neighbourhood. The offices overlook the rue Haute. On the upper levels, offices and housing are strategically arranged.

The architecture becomes more precise in the construction. A series of structural "modifications" are expressed in steel. There is bracing, a double-height terrace, and adaptations for emergency passage. These elements can be altered as needed. They punctuate the architecture with legible signs that make the building unique. The facades themselves follow the same logic. The height of the spandrels and the woodworks fit with the interior program, to the intimacy of the premises and to their openness.

These principles develop a specific identity and promise to engage an open process, which will be able to integrate the hazards of any architectural project, and even of subsequent appropriations.

(Extracts from the Competition Proposal)