Curo Garden / Raumlabor

© Stefanie De Clercq

The 2012 edition of Parckdesign, a biennial event dedicated to green space planning initiated by Brussels Environment and the Brussels Ministry for Environment, Energy and Urban Renovation, aims to reinterpret industrial wastelands, leftover spaces and interstices in Brussels. With this challenge, Raumlabor chose to open the gates to the spacious and pleasant courtyard of Curo Hall and to extend the public space by planning a whole series of concerted developments to comply with the uses of the local associations (whose activity is usually little known to the inhabitants of the neighborhood). More images and architects’ description after the break.

In actual fact, this magnificent building, formerly a municipal school, is run by the association Vie Associative and occupied by many associations from the local district. The construction and preparation process developed progressively through a series of workshops gradually involving local partners. The first stage began at the end of February 2012 by defining the needs and aspirations of the associations and citizens likely to co-operate. In April, May and June, three workshops scanned the gradual completion of the developments in the courtyard. A series of mobile wooden structures, tables, chairs, a pergola, a platform in the trees were designed so as to allow a modular layout.

© Stefanie De Clercq

More than a cultural event, the Parckdesign2012 – GARDEN event is primarily an opportunity to test another method of citymaking. It is a first stage setting the pattern for reflection into the role of deserted spaces which leverages on the capacity for transforming the city by working on the smallest urban units. This peculiar approach is therefore placed in a logic of sustainability: it is economic, inasmuch as it gives a fresh impetus to vast tracts of wasteland, social, by involving the inhabitants from the design initiative, environmental, by bringing the issue of biodiversity into sharp focus, and educational, by providing ‘in situ’ teaching.

© Stefanie De Clercq

By opting for a “participatory” approach, by selecting multidisciplinary teams of artists, designers, architects and landscapers who have experience in the area and by proposing co-operation with local associations, Parckdesign 2012 is an integral part of the mechanism of local dynamics. The event initiates projects, some of which are destined to achieve long-term viability thanks to the involvement of different local partners. All these actions will aim to arouse questioning about the value of these new public spaces and about the way to open them up, transform them subtly, manage them and accompany them in time.

© Stefanie De Clercq

Architects: Raumlabor Location: Brussels, Belgium Team: Markus Bader, Jan Liesegang, Axel Timm, Muriel Claeys, Lise Larsen, Camille Lemeunier, Jordan Coquart, Pedro Cavaco Local partners: Vie associative, Curo-hall, Mission locale d’Anderlecht, La maison de la participation, Infor-femmes, Ulac-Huvak, Centre de Rénovation Urbaine, Ligue de l’enseignement, Service Social de la Rosée, Convergences, Institut Marius Renard Year: 2012

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "Curo Garden / Raumlabor" 02 Aug 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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