Molenbeek, rue J. Lemaire – mixed program: 31 social apartements and daily living equipment – competition 2014, first prize – currently tender phase //
This project is a new development of the public social housing developer SLRB in Molenbeek (Brussels). It will offer 31 housing suitable for elderly people, a 46-seats restaurant, lounges, terrace, spaces dedicated to paramedics and spaces for administration and staff.
The project is designed from the guidelines of everyday life: how people enter the building, how they reach collective spaces, how they ensure their privacy and what makes the quality of their housing. The project links each of these ideas with the peculiar context of the building. The entrance of the building is situated in the 20’s qualitative terraced houses « Cité Saulnier ». This gives residents the quality of living in a neighborhood with a friendly scale. The new building dialogs in the front side with the 70’s middle high buildings of the square and in the back side with the Cité Saulnier. The relation to the cité is done through a long garden allowing a possible co-existence between scales that are dramatically different. This garden supports and enriches all the functions of the ground floor (lobby and reception desk, entrance hall, administration and paramedics). The spaces of collective life that punctuate the daily living are on the first floor. This allows to open wide to the square without being in direct exposure from the public space. Restaurant and lounge can be used separately or jointly. They both are connected to a generous outdoor terrace situated above the entrance. From the terrace the view spreads to the city Saulnier. A perforated masonry surrounds the terrace ensuring both privacy and protection of this outdoor space and a perception of the surrounding space. The apartments are spread over the six floors of the building.
The project is a collaboration Manger Nielsen Architects with Atelier De Visscher & Vincentelli.