As an extension and final part of the City Dox plan in Brussels, the project envisages a mixed residential programme combined with a secondary school. The fusion of a diverse programme into a cohesive whole with its own identity will be the challenge. This is combined with an appropriate urban acquisition that enters into a direct dialogue with its surroundings. The aim is a switch from monotonous mono-functional fabric to a more hybrid urban structure. On top of the ruins of the mono-functional fabric, a contemporary mix of hybrid architecture is proposed, which breathes new life into the Canal Zone on an economic, productive and human level.
The transformation of the urban morphology leads to increased functional resilience and the exploration of new opportunities. It manifests itself as a catalyst for future developments and casts a new perspective on the current way of living. Architecture therefore intends to anticipate the ever faster and more frequent social changes in lifestyle, production and consumption. Striving for an adaptable and flexible architecture that is future-oriented was therefore essential. The building must be able to accommodate diversity, stimulate dialogue and provide solutions to complex urban issues.
The design is a hybrid coming together of a secondary school with a mixed residential programme. Multifunctionality and flexibility are key concepts in the spatial translation of a contemporary school building, but at the same time this are also crucial themes in contemporary housing issues. Both needs are therefore answered within the same logic and structure.
The school infrastructure values to flexibility and connectivity. It strives for a qualitative integration that enters into dialogue with the environment, surrounding partners, the neighbourhood and society as a whole. By sufficiently diversifying the use of space, the design tries to provide a well-considered answer to the tension between private and shared spaces. The outdoor space was also designed to maximise the opportunities for young people to develop.
In addition to a flexible school structure, this approach is also followed in the construction system of the residential units. The residential infrastructure can be seen as a collection of successive equivalent rooms that offer great flexibility to the residents. The residential infrastructure gives the users the opportunity to adapt the rooms to their personal lifestyle, the fluctuations of life and the daily changing needs. In addition, the room composition increases the quality of the accommodation through the diagonal proportions and the addition of a landscape room.
Finally, the parking infrastructure was deliberately placed on the first level. This reflects the spirit of the design, where the structure can be used independently of current needs and interpretation. In this way, the parking infrastructure has the potential to become a longer-term extension of the school, housing or additional programme. The project is thus a flexible, open and future-oriented design that is able to adapt to the pace of social change. It is more than a new piece of city or architecture, but the beginning of a process in which mono-functionality gives way to a hybrid and future-oriented architecture.