Henning Larsen to revitalize Brussels region with rooftop farming and co-housing

April 6, 2018 by  
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A post-industrial region in Brussels will find a new lease on life thanks to the vision of Henning Larsen Architects . The Dutch architecture firm, in collaboration with Architects A2RC , recently won a design competition to redevelop Brussels’ Key West development with a strong focus on livability. The masterplan will introduce new housing, community facilities, and stronger ties to the waterfront and urban farming. As part of a plan to redevelop its old industrial areas, the Government of Brussels launched the Canal Plan, the biggest urban development project in the Brussels region. The Key West development, headed by Henning Larsen Architects and Architects A2RC, aims to bring greater socio-economic cohesion to a challenged region, particularly Anderlecht, a municipality with a rough reputation. The masterplan will inject new life along the canal and add 46,000 square meters of housing in addition to 17,000 square meters of community spaces including public spaces, sports facilities, and urban farming initiatives. “We were inspired by the Government of Brussels’ ambitions to tap into the spirit of the old industrial area by introducing ‘second generation industries’ ? local production facilities such as e.g. microbreweries, a cookie factory, coffee roasting facilities. As architects involved in urban planning one of our most distinguished tasks is to create the physical framework for an area like Key West to regain economic growth and community cohesion,” says Partner at Henning Larsen, Jacob Kurek. Related: Natural light floods this solar-powered business school in Frankfurt In addition to an inviting mixed-use streetscape, Key West will enjoy a stronger relationship to the canals through new waterfront infrastructure that will use biotopes to improve water quality and rainwater collection to handle impervious runoff. Residences will be stacked atop first-floor retail and restaurants and will include co-housing options that offer large 8 to 9 bedroom apartments for shared living. Rooftop urban farms will be made visible from the street and the locally grown produce is tied into a scheme for a farmers market to be located in the south-facing town square. The Key West development is slated for completion by 2022. + Henning Larsen Architects Via ArchDaily Images via Henning Larsen Architects

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Henning Larsen to revitalize Brussels region with rooftop farming and co-housing

Cigarette factory reborn as a light-filled city hall in Brussels

February 20, 2017 by  
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A building that once belonged to a cigarette factory has shed its smoky past for a new life in civil service. Mamout Architects , LD2 Architecture , and Stéphanie Willocx transformed the industrial structure into a two-story city-hall branch in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, a multicultural municipality in Brussels, Belgium. The modern renovated building is punctuated with large windows to let in natural light and to emphasize connection and transparency with the community. The three Brussels-based architecture firms won a design competition to transform the industrial site into a new council office complete with a waiting room and administrative offices. The architects preserved much of the existing structure but revamped the facade with large glazed sections and improvements for better energy performance . The minimally decorated interior features high ceilings, a light color palette, and a connection to the outdoors through the large windows and access to natural light . Related: This train station which doubles as city hall in Sweden will function as an “urban living room” Remnants from the building’s history can be seen throughout the adaptive reuse project, such as the gray pavers and aging concrete beams and columns. “The proposal takes advantage of the existing situation by inserting the program in a fluid and logical disposal into the structure, without degrading it,” said Stéphanie Willocx, Mamout and LD2 Architecture to Dezeen . New additions, like the tables, windows, and counters, are aligned with the concrete beams for a clean and orderly appearance. + Mamout Architects + LD2 Architecture Via Dezeen Images via studio fiftyfifty

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Cigarette factory reborn as a light-filled city hall in Brussels

Vincent Callebaut envisions Belgiums industrial zone as an amazing energy-generating community

January 12, 2017 by  
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Designer Vincent Callebaut presents an amazing green facelift to the century-old warehouses at Belgium’s former industrial site Tour & Taxis in his latest designs for a mixed-use eco-neighborhood. His masterplan transforms the 40-hectare post-industrial site into a sustainable community draped in greenery that generates more energy than its residents need. His futuristic design is part of a greater vision to help European cities transition their built environments towards a post-carbon future. Built at the turn of the 20th century to serve as a major freight and customs clearance center, Tour & Taxis was once the shining jewel of industrialization’s golden age with its majestic engineering, ironwork, and stonework. The 40-hectare industrial site was built atop former wetlands located on the Brussels canal close to the heart of the city. Today, the area is undergoing major renewal and many of the impressive warehouses have been converted into offices, shops, restaurants, and exhibition spaces. Callebaut’s masterplan supports the adaptive reuse trend and expands on it with the design of a mixed-use eco-neighborhood to provide residences, as well as additional retail and office space. The redevelopment would be organized along the Brussels canal and is centered on the transformation of the Marine Terminal into the BIOCAMPUS, a 50,000-square-meter mixed-use space constructed with cross-laminated timber and inspired by biomimetic design . Three heavily landscaped residential buildings—called “vertical forests”—would sit across the repurposed Marine Terminal, totaling 85,000 square meters of new residential space. Related: Futuristic oceanscapers are floating villages 3D-printed from algae and plastic waste The energy-efficient architecture is designed to produce more energy than its users need thanks to passive design, renewable energy production through wind and solar, earth-air heat exchangers for natural ventilation, evapotranspiration gardens, geothermal stations, and more. Construction would use biosourced materials that contained recycled content or can be recycled according to cradle-to-cradle standards. Non-motorized transport would be prioritized in the neighborhood. + Vincent Callebaut Images via Vincent Callebaut

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Vincent Callebaut envisions Belgiums industrial zone as an amazing energy-generating community

Vincent Callebauts Botanic Center fights urban smog and harvests clean energy

September 12, 2016 by  
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Despite its garden-inspired name, the Botanic Center in Brussels was built in 1977 from 274 identical concrete modules with nary a plant in sight. Architect Vincent Callebaut’s envisioned renovation , which he calls “metamorphosis,” transforms the building into a new symbol of sustainability for the city. “Our ambitions are as follows: to imagine a vegetal envelope on the three façades of the Botanic Center; to bring biodiversity back into the heart of the City; and with the help of botanists, to select plants that will color the building according to seasons,” writes Callebaut. The design calls for 274 planter beds with overhanging and climbing plants installed onto the 274 existing concrete models. Drip irrigation would be used to water the beds and maintenance need only be performed twice a year. Callebaut estimates that the 10,000-plant facade and green roofs could capture close to 50 tons of carbon dioxide a year and improve building insulation. Related: Futuristic oceanscapers are floating villages 3D-printed from algae and plastic waste In keeping with his theme of metamorphosis, Callebaut topped the proposed Botanic Center renovation with a “Chrysalis,” a lightweight structure made of arched glulam and steel cables. The curved addition can play host to a variety of programming and overlooks city views through large glazed openings. Twelve “gills” on the roof extend southwards to help improve solar exposure for the 600-square-meter photovoltaic array on the roof. Over 40 vertical axis wind turbines are also located atop the Chrysalis and could generate 32,340 kWh per year. Callebaut estimates that the total annual output of renewable energies could reach 128,340 kWh per year, enough to cover part of the existing building’s needs or ensure self-sufficiency for the Chrysalis’ new spaces. + Vincent Callebaut Images via Vincent Callebaut

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Vincent Callebauts Botanic Center fights urban smog and harvests clean energy

This gigantic flower carpet in Brussels is made of 600,000 blooms

August 29, 2016 by  
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All told, around 600,000 different blossoms were used to create the display. The influence of Japanese illustrations is obvious when you look at the tapestry from above; it incorporates common motifs found in Japanese art such as koi and cranes. Illustrations of flowers dotting the image represent the passage of the seasons. Related: A Gigantic Carpet Made Entirely From Flowers Just Popped Up in Brussels! The flower carpet is a tradition within Brussels , blanketing the city square every two years with begonias. The carpet is 77 meters long and 24 meters wide, and it takes about 120 volunteers four hours to assemble. The tradition began in 1971 and has continued until this day . Each flower carpet is accompanied by a specially composed musical theme, and the event is marked by an evening concert and light show. Unfortunately, the carpet lasts only a few days before the flowers fade and it has to come down again. This year’s carpet has already come and gone , but if you’d like to stop by and see it for yourself, start planning your 2018 summer vacation! Via Fubiz

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This gigantic flower carpet in Brussels is made of 600,000 blooms

Golden Le Toison d’Or complex “floats” on balloon-like frames in Brussels

February 9, 2016 by  
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Golden Le Toison d’Or complex “floats” on balloon-like frames in Brussels

Paradise Parking: Vintage Cars are Swallowed Up by Trees and Vines in France

February 24, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Paradise Parking: Vintage Cars are Swallowed Up by Trees and Vines in France Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: abandoned cars , Art , automobiles , brussels , eco design , eco-art , environmental art , france , Gallery Sophie Maree , green art , green design , Parking Paradise , Peter Lippmann , Photography , sustainable design , vintage cars

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Paradise Parking: Vintage Cars are Swallowed Up by Trees and Vines in France

All Aboard the Climate Express to Copenhagen (Slideshow)

December 6, 2009 by  
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photo: Matthew McDermott Having previously written about the Climate Express prior to the start of its journey in Kyoto, Japan I was very excited when the UNEP invited me to join them for the final leg of the journey. We traveled from Brussels to Copenhagen powered entirely by renewable energy (additional renewably-generated electricity equal to that consumed by the journey) was purchased and f… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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All Aboard the Climate Express to Copenhagen (Slideshow)

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