Fall 2015 – Antwerp’s renowned social housing group ‘De Ideale Woning’ launched a design competition to replace three antiquated houses on a plot by 20 apartments, an underground carpark and a communal green garden. Located between a busy shopping street (Paalstraat) and a traffic heavy road (Kruispadstraat), our vision – to minimise circulation as well as footprint and to maximise green space and accessability of the project – resulted in a first prize win. Orientation (south and west) was a main priority in developing the 2 volumes, each one facing a different street with different characteristics. Locating the entrance of the underground car park on one end (Kruispadstraat) allowed for a diversified green communal garden to be equipped with a petanque court, fruit trees, green hills, etc.
Both buildings provide a direct access towards the communal garden and dito facilities through the circulation area. By eliminating all forms of thresholds and linking the project seemlessly to its surroundings, both elderly and disabled occupants are welcomed in this inclusive new environment.