Josaphat – Housing and Commercial Space - MangerNielsenArchitects

Josaphat – Housing and Commercial Space

Schaerbeek – commercial space and two apartments – Competition //

At the heart of the street

This intervention in the Josaphat Street is located in the heart of a neighborhood. This notion of centrality appears clearly in the diagnosis of the basic contract for the Sustainable Neighborhood Contract “Coteaux Josaphat”. The public space nearby, created by the meeting of four streets was transformed several times in the last 20 years, as if its status remains yet to be fully defined.

We believe that this intervention is a opportunity to define and establish such an identity. This requires the development of public space, but it can also be supported by the equipment provided in this project. In terms of program, the remarkable richness of the social fabric of the neighborhood is an asset that can contribute to this effort.

We have therefore chosen to give special importance to the relationship between this equipment and the place. The plot is ideally located in relation to the site: it is situated at its limit, as a little behind, but giving toward it. The equipment must have an impact on the place, bold and clear visibility.

A double height for the equipment

We make the decisive choice to develop the front of the ground floor in a double height. This has three major consequences:
• It increases the impact of the equipment on the street in connection with public space
• It provides a “volume capable” of unexpected dimensions for equipment
• It enhances opportunities for contact with the outside at the rear of the building
This double height of 6 meters can accommodate a mezzanine or be operated as such. We see it as a volume can provide an interesting potential for the activity will develop.

Effective appartements typology

In order to generate this double height the first floor is slid towards the garden, creating a covered courtyard at the rear of the equipment and different possibilities of access to the back garden.
The limited depth of the apartments and their double orientation provide excellent interior lighting. Spaces are functional and comfortable. with qualitative relation to outdoor spaces.