Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

November 17, 2020 by  
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The Gare Maritime railway station in Brussels has seen a huge transformation. The building, formerly one of Europe’s largest railway stations for goods, has been renovated into a new city district shopping and event development made of cross-laminated timber. Reimagined as a multi-purpose public space for companies and events, the building is covered entirely in  wood  and highlights sustainable architectural practices such as solar energy and rainwater collection systems. According to the architects at Neutelings Riedijk, the structure is the largest  cross-laminated timber  project in Europe. Architects added a series of 12 new building volumes to accommodate a new program of 45,000 square meters. Along with the existing halls, roofs and side aisles, the new design creates a structure that mimics a small city with streets and parks. Related: Sweden’s tallest timber building could save 550 tons of CO2 The choice of wood came down to sustainability and weight, as a concrete construction would have been five times heavier. Cross-laminated timber with a facade finishing in oak offered the perfect solution to create a prefabricated and dry construction method with shorter building time. As a result, the design features demountable connections and modular wooden building elements to promote sustainability. The central space is reserved for public events and contains a green walking boulevard on both sides. Routes measure 16 meters wide, giving pedestrians plenty of room to enjoy the spacious inner garden complete with a hundred trees. Overall, the space includes a total of 10 gardens based on four themes: woodland, flowers, grass and fragrance. As Brussels enjoys a Mediterranean climate, designers chose plants that adapt to the specific growing conditions. The Gare Maritime also remains completely energy neutral and fossil-free thanks to glass facades and solar cells, with a total area of 17,000 square meters of roof space dedicated to  solar panels . The building uses geothermal energy and a rainwater collection system to water the massive gardens. + Neutelings Riedijk Architects Via ArchDaily Photo: Filip Dujardin/Sarah Blee/Tim Fisher | © Neutelings Riedijk Architects

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Brussels train station transformed into wooden shopping and event center

A former leather tannery is transformed into an apartment trio in Lisbon

July 20, 2018 by  
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Lisbon-based architecture firm Aurora Arquitectos has breathed new life into a former leather tannery in the capital of Portugal. Five years in the making, the recently completed apartment refurbishment project turns a single floor into three independent apartments covering a total area of 3,385 square feet. To celebrate the building’s original 18th-century architectural style, the architects applied elements of Pombaline design in their renovation, including modular elements and a pared-back aesthetic. Dubbed the 3 Pombalino Apartments, the adaptive reuse project is located on the upper floor of a multi-story corner building. Inside, the floor plan wraps around a central staircase with a large light-filled void. The architects preserved the majority of the existing walls and added additional walls and doors to split the open spaces into smaller rooms. Each apartment features a unique layout and is fitted with two bedrooms and two bathrooms as well as a hall, kitchen, storage, living room and dining space. “When this space was refurbished and divided into 3 apartments, the following principles were adopted: To maintain the pre-modern logic of circulation between rooms, without any corridors or small distribution spaces, adapt the intervention to the existing partitioning , and decrease the need for demolitions, so that the integrity of the existing structure is preserved,” explain Aurora Arquitectos. Related: Derelict property transformed into a vibrant, sunny hostel in Portugal Elements of the Pombalino Style, an 18th-century architectural style that defined buildings in Lisbon after 1755, had been scrubbed away from the space due to “aggressive” industrial use by the former leather tannery. The architects sought to restore the Pombalino interior architecture and so focused on introducing sparsely decorated spaces, modular construction and an emphasis on windows and doors as “the main elements of the architectonic characterization.” The architects add: “This way, the identity of the common space is composed by the sum of the individual parts.” + Aurora Arquitectos Images © do mal o menos

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A former leather tannery is transformed into an apartment trio in Lisbon

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