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UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

Belgium Architecture News - Jan 21, 2016 - 16:50   7917 views

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

all images © Hufton+Crow / © Eva Bloem

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today. Designed for ProWinko and in collaboration with Beligian architects Jaspers-Eyers, Le Toison d’Or. Located on the Avenue de la Toison d'Or, the complex is a hybridisation of a traditional building-block typology and a mixed-use development with a retail podium. Le Toison d'Or comprises 72 apartments (from 50 to 750 m2), 13,000 m2 of commercial space, a 1040 m2 crèche, 330 parking spaces and an elevated city garden of 2,950 m2.

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

“It was important that the retail units be as open and light as possible. We wanted to contrast this with the apparent solidity of the upper floors, to create the illusion that the vertical balloon-like frames were carrying the building; as if the whole block almost has the potential to float above the avenue'' said Ben Van Berkel.

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio explains its design approach, in order to avoid the monolithic qualities common to block structures, the façade of Le Toison d’Or is broken up by means of variations in texture, depth and the repeating rhythm of a series of curved vertical frames. These frames serve to enclose the balconies of the apartments on the upper floors, whilst also facilitating the large display windows of the retail units. In contrast to the vertical articulation of the street facade, the facades surrounding the elevated courtyard garden follow a horizontal arrangement. Here generously proportioned balconies provide a more tranquil experience of city life.

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

The apartments in Le Toison d’Or vary in size from small to large, enabling a varied demographic of city residents. To ensure high levels of daylight in the interiors, the floor to ceiling heights reach at least 2.7 meters in living areas. For the apartments situated along the Avenue de la Toison d’Or, this height increases to more than 3 meters. Open kitchens in the form of large furniture elements create an informal entertaining space in the heart of the apartments and determine the circulation through the spaces.

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

Le Toison d’Or has been developed with high standards of sustainability. Main features are the excellent thermic isolation of the façade (including triple glazing), a high standard of acoustic insulation, an inventive cogeneration installation system for both the apartments and the retail units and the use of glass-fiber reinforced concrete.

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

UNStudio completed its first project in Belgium and opens to the public today

Project Facts

Client: TD Immo Invest BVBA, Brussels
Location: Avenue de la Toison d’Or 25-29, Brussels
Building surface: 48000 m2
Building volume: 87000 m3 (above ground), 110.000 m3 (underground); total 197.000 m3
Building site: 5800 m2
Programme: Retail, apartments and underground parking
Status: Completed

UNStudio Team: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Wesley Lanckriet, Jacques van Wijk and Hans Kooij, Tina Kortmann, Tatjana Gorbachewskaja, Philipp Meise, Jaap-Willem Kleijwegt, Marie Prunault, Tomas Mokry, Nanang Santoso, Olivier Yebra, Thomas Harms, Rene Wysk, Todd Ebeltoft, Patrick Noome, Chartlotte Guyaux, Johanna Mencia, Machiel Wafelbakker, Bartek Winnicki, Aurelie Krotoff, Ondrei Kyjanek, Wendy van der Knijff.

Advisors: Belgian architect: Jaspers-Eyers Architects, Brussels (BE)

Local project leader realisation phase: Wesley Lanckriet, U/Define Architects

Structural Engineer: ABCIS Van Wetter S.A., Brussels (BE)
Landscape architect: Lodewijk Baljon landschapsarchitecten, Amsterdam (NL), Atelier Ruimtelijk Advies, Berchem (BE)
Installations: Techniplan adviseurs, Rotterdam (NL), TDEC, Rumst (BE)
Building Physics and sustainability: DGMR, Arnhem (NL)
Cost calculation: BBN adviseurs, Houten (NL), Widnell Europe, Brussels (BE)
Fire Safety: FPC Fire Protection Consultants, Antwerpen (BE)
Quality Control: SECO, Brussels (BE)
Main contractor: CFE NV – BPC Brabant, Watermaal-Bosvoorde (BE)

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