Paleizenstraat 153 - 1030 Brussels
T 022444430 F 022444431 E

Masterplan for the tip of the Buda-Island

Location :
Team :
AgwA + Dogma
Subcontractors :
Berte Daan (landscape), IDEA Consult
Planning :
Category :
Court and Garden

Court and Garden are among the most important urban archetypes whose form has shaped the city from ancient to Medieval times. We think these two archetypes fit in the Buda site whose history has been influenced by the presence of a monastic institution. Court and Garden are a way to give readability to the complex composition of buildings and spaces that evolved in time on the island. The monastery has given to the site a special character whose main spatial feature is its garden; our project aims to recuperate and valorize this archetype by juxtaposing it with other urban rooms. The proposal is not inventing a new character for the site, but simply sharpening its existing qualities.

The project consists of two layers. On the lower floors, we imagine a ‘social condenser’ that includes a library, co-working space, ateliers, day care for children and elderly people; these programs are topped by a housing system comprising different residential arrangements, from affordable to market flats. By positioning the housing layer on top of the social condenser, the proposal seeks to combine as a unitary complex living, working, culture and care. In this way, the site can become a pilot project for a new idea of the city, in which programs that are conventionally kept separated contribute to the creation of a tapestry of active social space. Bringing together care, work, housing, and knowledge, is a unique opportunity to go beyond the typical cultural hub which normally excludes production and care, catering exclusively to forms of leisure which we want to reintegrate into everyday life.

In order to give form to all this, we propose a strategy centered on two elements: court, and garden. While the court is a mineral public space framed by intensely social functions, such as the library, co-working, auditorium and bookshop, the garden offers a green space adjacent to care-oriented programs, such as the creche and elderly center. Our project aims to acquire from the history of Buda Island both a sense of purpose, and a spatial grammar. Court and garden are archetypes we are borrowing form the tradition of monastic architecture which shaped Buda Island for centuries; we believe that these two forms can inspire a sense of commoning and solidarity as the fundamental horizon of the city to come.