Context and ambition
The new Etterbeek City Hall is located in front of a main road, on Casernes Avenue, in the context of an urban development initiated by the commune on the site called « the Hunting Gardens ». It’s an exceptional opportunity to renew a neighbourhood, a part of the city, and also an opportunity to create a dynamic image for an urban commune.
We opted for a clear and open layout for the buildings, favouring lines of communication between the existing neighbourhood and the site’s new development.
The communal house was positioned on the corner between Casernes Avenue and Beckers Street for maximum visibility.
A pedestrian path that crosses the project was proposed in order to link the future park with the new square. It is generated by the way the buildings are positioned on the avenue. This link enables a clear distinction that was requested by the developer between the administrative building and the housing. The housing building, through its position, creates a link between the future dwellings outlined in the general masterplan and the avenue. The mix of functions developed on the site is thus showcased.
The new square created through the buildings’ position and our suggestion to refurbish the boulevard to integrate the square and create a coherent public space provide a more distinguished visual setting and an appropriate environment fitted to the importance of the new building and its function.
New administrative centre
The main focus of our project is the large reception hall, accessible directly from the square created on Avenue des Casernes. It includes reception points and counters for the various services.
The general shape of the building provides the position for the main entrance. This is done intuitively in the curve generated under the central point, the highest point of the building.
The two-storey reception hall is provides access to all functions and services, also allowing the users to cross the building toward the park and the new district.
The building's facades are generated by sunshine and brightness. The result is an evolutive facade according to the variations in natural lighting.
The reception of the CPAS (Public Centre for Social Action), while remaining accessible from the general hall, remains separate and has its own counters.
The new police station is orientet towards the square and is located in the front of the building. Its position was chosen in order to have maximum visibility, but also great accessibility and independence regarding opening hours. It is also accessible through the main reception hall. Creating a building that houses services specific to authority, but also to security, proved to be a symbolic and functional challenge. With the general image of the administrative centre, we propose a building with a façade that highlights the functions it hosts. The police station, by its position on the square, takes full advantage of the symbolism of the facade and its prestige.
The basement is developed on three levels and includes the parking lot and the funeral home.
The housing building is served by 3 vertical circulation cores and includes 41 dwellings of different sizes, favouring 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. All the apartments are crossing (with front and rear views). Each apartment has an outdoor space, either a terrace for those on the upper floors or a small garden for the those located on the ground floor.
The public restaurant is located near the future park, on the ground floor behind the apartment building.