Productive Megastructure

Workshop Brussels (BE) - Workshop Site 2


Pietro Colonna (IT), Enrico Zetti (IT), Maureen Soupe (CH), Winner in Alta (NO) with "Tanca"
Guobin Shen (DE), Kilian Juraschitz (DE), Winner in Aschaffenburg (DE) with "Wohnterrassen am Schillereck"
Radostina Radulova-Stahmer (DE), Prisca Hirstein (DE), Winner in Graz (AT) with "Unfolding the Fan"
Nea Tuominen (FI), Rachel Murray (NZ), Winner in Helsinki (FI) with "Lateral Coalescence"
Vilma Autio (FI), Winner in Tornio-Haparenda (FI/SE) with "Two Cities, One Heart"
Humberto Perreira (PT), Winner in Tubize (BE) with "Seed structure - the Production of Happiness"
Mircea Munteanu (BE), Runner-up in Amsterdam H-Buurt (NL) with "Buurtmakers"
Michele Angelo Vallicelli (IT), Annalisa Pilati (IT), Runner-up in Amsterdam Piarcoplein (NL) with "Urban Platform"
Maria Del Olmo Gomez (ES), Bernat Bastardas Llabot (ES), Runner-up in Amsterdam Transformatorweg (NL) with "Embracing Technology"
Airam Eloende Gonzalez Dorta (ES), Runner-up in Linz (AT) with "PROLinz Production Unlimited"
Diego Martín Sánchez (ES), Noemí Gómez Lobo (ES), Runner-up in Madrid (ES) with "Common Ground"
Andrea Giemeno (ES), Luis Juan Liñan (ES) Runner-up in Warszawa (PL) with "The Excity"
Bérengère Chauffete (FR), Special Mention in Trelleborg (SE) with "Future Comes Slowly"

Coach: Carlos Arroyo (ES)
Guest critics: Ann de Cannière, Ben Dirickx and Tania Vandenbroucke from Brussels Bouwmeester Chief Architect




The area Chaussée d’Haecht-Bordet, located in the North-Eastern part of the city, is a real functional mixture inherited from successive layers of urbanization. The site suffers from a lack of coherence and spatial quality between these different functional and housing zones, and from a lack of identity, public spaces, equipments and attractivity. In other words, the urban character is missing. 
The productive feature is characterized by an mix of production, offices and wide commercial areas. The site is also impacted by the presence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Belgian Army, which, when they moved out, left a wide wasteland of 90ha that needs to be reprogrammed. However, between this atypical urban landscape, there is the “village” of Evere, composed of small housing ilots which barely succeeds in building a proper identity in this context of concrete mutation, and in connecting itself to the neighbouring productive activities. 
On top of that context, there is also the creation of the new metro station Bordet linking this zone to the city centre. 
Three main questions are raised: 
1- DA VINCI: What urban context for the area Da Vinci composed of various activities and industrial parcels? How to find a proper coherence between all industrial parcels, and to link them to their environment and mostly to the new metro station Bordet? 
2- Chaussée d’Haecht: How to redesign the unused 90ha? How to plan and reprogram this area to bring back mixity? How to conceive an urban and coherent vision integrating future projects and opening up the site to the landscape and to the existing infrastructures? 
3- Village of Evere: What can be protected at the patrimonial level? What type of mixity does the site need? What type of urbanization should be implemented? How to integrate this municipality, located in-between two highly industrialized areas, to the urban context using the connection to the metro station Bordet?

Tech Boulevard studies a nodal point along the boulevard that links Brussels centre and the airport, with the potential of becoming a technology hub
The area has developed historically along the infrastructures of the day, which generated specific urban structures for each moment in time. 
The old horse-and-cart road connecting Brussels to Haecht structured first the small scale closed urban blocks and later produced the strip development hosting activities of a variety of types and scales. 
The railway created a sharp division along its trajectory but also a new center of gravity around Bordet station. 
The highway-like boulevard brought about the typical car-centric development of the XXth century with sprawling business parks, social housing districts and the NATO headquarters. 
Each new line implied the segmentation of the area into different morphologies, each with different developments in height.

All these specific urban structures come together around the Bordet railway station and the future metro terminal, but despite the diversity of functions hosted in each urban structure they are segregated in quasi monofunctional patches that don't interact with each other. A toolbox of potential mixities reveals various possibilities for stacking new (circled in red) and existing functions. 
The ambition of this vision is to capitalize on the existing diversity, break the mono functionality by means of new linkages, hybridized densification strategies and addition of strategic new functions to create a veritable productive urbanity.


Productive Megastructure

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On the other side of the new hub, also along the Chausée de Haecht, we find a different area which is set to be redeveloped as a Zemu, that is, an area that enforces the conflation of housing and productive activities.
Interestingly enough, such a mixing is already present in this area, but in a sort of one to one relation between housing and small-scale industry that responds to a logic of adjacency. Thus, instead of completely redeveloping this area following a tabula rasa logic–as it is currently planned-it would be possible to densify it according to this one to one system, simultaneously completing and complementing the many empty pockets on site.

Metro and train depot
The arrival of the metro line at the Bordet station brings with it also the metro terminal depot. This is a necessary infrastructure but which risks becoming a large blind spot at the centre of the site.
The train depot could become a base for a mixed-used development with activated urban ground-floors towards the North and West, an open park on the roof that stretches further South on top of the railway line, and a diversity of housing schemes bridging the scale of the center of Evere and of the productive district.

Railway infrastructure
Asking ourselves about the possible meanings of the railway infrastructure in the future, we imagined an element capable of hosting hyperloop and high capacity railway lines connecting Brussels with the rest of Europe, as well as automated car parking and manufactures. Absorbing the high-tech infrastructure and industry this structure will free the boulevard to be developed as a space for social use and soft mobility.

Download the PDF here

Productive Megastructure





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