Logistics Framework in Belgium

Château de Laeken Kasteel van Laken The Brussels canal area is envisaged to be the catalyst for urban renewal. The city developed its ‘plan canal’ to implement more employment, a mix of functions, public space, and housing in a primarily industrial area. The new operating base of the NET Brussel waste collection company will be located in the northern part of the canal area. As opposed to other city segments, this area is characterised by warehouses and access roads without any interaction with adjacent residential areas. The gradual transformation of this segment into a full-fledged urban area is a big challenge. This project can be seen as a pacesetter of this steady evolution. The building has to be integrated in the present while at the same time also being able to adapt itself to a future that aims to connect people and urban fabrics. NEW URBAN STRATEGY The accommodation of logistic and industrial activities in the contemporary city is becoming increasingly significant for future urban development. The role of these activities is vital to sustaining a successful city economy. They provide many jobs and services every day. Utilities, waste collection, recycling and distribution are indispensable within any city, and proximity is vital for efficient operations and transport. Governments and companies in the sector are aware of the need for new approaches to the physical accommodation of logistic and industrial activities due to the unsustainability of traditional development patterns. As the demand for housing grows and the land supply becomes increasingly constrained, we are faced with the need to cohabit with new urban strategies. Many companies take this challenge as an opportunity to improve the unfamiliar (and often negative) image citizens have of logistics and industry. By making their activities visible, citizens are PARK WITH TENTACLES Today, the Meudon Park functions as a green buffer area between the industrial area next to the canal and the residential areas nearby. A pattern of secondary roads running perpendicular to the canal con- nects the canal to the park and the residential areas. We consider the combination of these physical elements to be an important shape. This shape has the potential and the resilience to play a significant role in different scenarios both today and in the future. The project reinforces this ‘shape with tentacles reaching out to the water’ by creating an additional tentacle between the park and the canal. In creating this option, we aim to open up possibilities for an unprecedented future, rather than assign a predetermined use. The options are endless; buff- er green, a coherent vegetation mass across plot boundaries, a sea of treetops colouring the view from the houses, a connecting axis for fauna that enhances biodiversity, a second, soft access road to NET Brussel, a physical connection, or a recreational area... this site is ca- pable of adapting to a changing future and in turn contributing to the continued expansion of the canal zone. more involved in the workings of the city. Architecture becomes an important factor in this new context. The anonymous warehouse must make way for quality and integrated architecture. In the northern part of the canal area, the project has to overcome the apparent contradiction between city and logistics, between the residential area of Neder-Over-Heembeek and the logistic channels that are the Chaussée de Vilvorde and the canal. When imagining innovative design solutions, we have to consider retaining productive non-residential uses alongside (the creation of) a good living and working environment. With the introduction of a green area in the centre of the plot, the ability of the project to adapt to changing future circumstances , and by improving social interaction between the different urban tissues, we try to provide an answer to this contradiction, shifting the focus away from an isolated, object-oriented approach to one conceived from the point of view of an urban metabolism. (a) (c) (b) d) PATIO TYPOLOGY Industrial plots are commonly filled with boxes (a), and the exterior terrain is commonly divided into 4 equal strips next to the facades (b). These 4 strips are hardly ever all used efficiently. The sub-optimal use of such terrain in urban environments can no longer be justified in our modern day and age. As such, we propose a different format with a central exterior space that separates the parking garage from the office building and provides added value for employees (d). This format also fits in well with the rest of the canal area; the boundaries of the plot will stimulate interaction with the public domain from corner to corner (c), whereas a more traditional format usually results in less effective interaction along the side strips. CONNECTING URBAN TISSUES The building’s program is housed under a large communal concrete waffled structure out of which the green heart is cut. The level of this roof structure connects to the level of the neighbourhood behind it. In the current program, the roof level serves as a parking space for the NET Brussel vehicle fleet, but thanks to its relationship with the residential area at the same level, this level can become a second ground floor level in the future. This connection allows the residential area to extend above the industrial activities and advance towards (the view over) the canal. The result is a building that strengthens the link between two opposite urban structures, suitable for accommodating a diverse range of uses whilst maintaining industrial capacity. PILOT PROJECT NET BRUSSEL The building in Neder-Over-Heembeek will serve as a pilot project for NET Brussel. The company realises that if it wishes to be part of the city in a sustainable way, this building could occupy as a pioneering role for the other sites. Recently, NET Brussel decided to annex the plot between the building and the houses behind it (e). The company wants to expand the roof surface to accommodate a covered storage space and a truck wash. We took this opportunity to strengthen the connection with the residential area. Our proposal stipulates the expansion of the Meudon park across the entire width of the plot, to finally join a perpendicular road that connects to the residential Rue de Ransbeek (f). The green area thus created serves as a natural buffer and relates the greenery of the park to the green area in the centre of the plot more than before. The additional green surface transforms the more centralized configuration of the park into a more out-stretched body parallel to the canal. The natural paths of the park branch on the perpendicular roads and generate a network in which recreational functions can be linked to serve both the residential and the industrial area. Parc Meudon Canal maritime de Bruxelles à l’Escaut 01 PROGRESS GLOBAL LAFARGEHOLCIM AWARDS 2018 TETRA architecten LOGISTICS FRAMEWORK Adaptable structure for a garbage collection company Mouton cvba Boydens nv ARA bvba Structural engineering: Technical engineering: Landscape: (e) Design 2017 (f) Design 2018