The project concerns the renovation of a social housing tower block which dates back to 1958 and an apartment complex dating back to 1970. These two buildings have benefited from an extensive renovation, meeting the passive standard. A nursery with a capacity of 36 children was also incorporated within this complex, which now houses a semi-public green space.
As part of the revitalization projects for certain areas in the Brussels-Capital region, Linné-Plantes is a seminal development which embodies the desire of the Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode commune to provide a new momentum to this area, which is located behind the gare du Nord (Brussels-North train station), very close to the ‘Manhattan’ of Brussels.
Although the original volumes of the buildings have remained the same, their envelopes have been fully redesigned in a spirit of openness and proximity. This results in a profound transformation in the architectural landscape of the area. The façades have been fully re-clad, using prefabricated wooden boxes in a very carefully constructed composition.
The site and its park are now fully visible from the street and are enlivened by the presence of the nursery. It’s slender form extends along the surrounding building and is sheltered under a layer of plants which - in a set of soft mounds - extends to bring the bare gables of the neighboring houses to life. Bathed in natural light thanks to the draping façades which accommodate large windows and patios which these look onto, the nursery offers children scenic views over the park, while protecting them from anyone looking in from the external area. It extends outside with a relaxation area. The nursery therefore forms a bridge between the top, bottom and parallel forms, as a suspended garden or a link, uniting inhabitants, residents and different generations.
The almost insalubrious existing buildings have been extensively renovated to meet the quality requirement proposed by A2M. The renovation therefore far exceeded the low energy standard, by meeting and even optimizing the passive standard. The original energy consumption of 160 kWh/m2 per year is now 13 kWh/m2 per year, without any additional construction costs. This follows the proposition and promise made in 2012 which convinced the project manager.