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Luchtbal

New buildings for social housing and a community centre.

Antwerp, Belgium
2011-2016, Contractor bidding
Woonhaven Antwerpen
a2o-architecten & Ontwerpatelier Peter Jannes
11.275 m2 (103 housing units)

Press

The concept for this new project is based on an enclosed urban garden. A functional volume of seven levels on the Noorderlaan, a lower building of two levels at the park side and three levels on the Canadastraat, a connecting street within the neighbourhood.

A narrow ring of houses and apartments creates an internal space that can act as a sanctuary, providing shelter from the noise. The ‘hortus conclusus’ is a communal zone, a place for collective relaxation, providing a green view from the houses.

The informal pattern of paths generates walking routes throughout the site, guaranteeing optimal ‘passability’. The underpasses between garden and surroundings are provided with soundproofing surfaces, like sound locks in a theatre.

The building follows a strict structural logic. The dimensions of the houses allow the use of prefabricated elements. The free spans create flexible lay-outs. The facades are also designed as prefabricated panels. They translate the difference between exterior and interior world. The white outer shell is highly articulated.

It faithfully respects the outlines of the building block.

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