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Apartments BUSO / dmvA Architecten

  • 00:00 - 12 December, 2012
Apartments BUSO / dmvA Architecten
Apartments BUSO / dmvA Architecten, © Frederik Vercruysse
© Frederik Vercruysse

© Frederik Vercruysse © Frederik Vercruysse © Frederik Vercruysse © Frederik Vercruysse + 18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Mechelen, Belgium
  • Category

  • Design Team

    David Driesen, Tom Verschueren, Astrid Geens, Christine Loos, Michaël De Roeck
  • General Contractor

  • Constructional Engineer

  • Area

    2,000 m2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

Urban Concept
The project was obtained by winning a competition called by the City of Mechelen. The city council aimed the old Buso site to be developed as a high quality urban area, housing ten loft dwellings. The commission was entrusted to dmvA because they were the only architect office that took the ‘spirit of the factory’ as starting-point.

© Frederik Vercruysse
© Frederik Vercruysse

Buso is located in the 19th century industry-axis, alongside the canal Mechelen – Leuven. Its location in the middle of a building block characterizes the site. The site enclosed a big factory building, with a number of small-added building volumes on one hand, and a dwelling that gave access to the street on the other hand. Alleys provided access to the former factory. The exterior space was limited and fragmentary. The objective of the urban concept was to bring the factory-building air and space again.

© Frederik Vercruysse
© Frederik Vercruysse

Architectural Concept
In phase one, the added volumes were pulled down to rehabilitate the factory building. In view of sustainability and economics the building was kept as best as possible, stripping took place mainly inside the building. In a second stage the garden of one of the houses was expropriated in order to get one big semi-public space. Backsides of the neighbouring houses got new exits to this new space.

© Frederik Vercruysse
© Frederik Vercruysse

The pretty closed factory building contained two floors. On several places, where the structure of the building allowed to, openings were made in roof and floors. These openings generated patios and an inner street. The openings allow sunlight to enter the building. Stairs connect the semi-public inner-street with the urban tissue of alleys. All loft-dwellings are accessed by way of this semi-public space. Each loft is unique. Contemporary transparent building volumes are placed on top of the building as an extra space for the lofts. The roof becomes one big roofgarden, planted with sedums.

© Frederik Vercruysse
© Frederik Vercruysse

To emphasize the spirit of the old factory-site, the outside of the factory is clad with panels of corten-steel. These panels were attached on a structure with 15 cm insulation. The inner walls of patios and inner street, as well as the added volumes on top of the building, are finished with poly-carbonate panels, with a 23 cm insulation.

© Frederik Vercruysse
© Frederik Vercruysse

So, old versus new, massive versus transparent, rough versus polished, dark versus light.

Site Plan
Site Plan

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Project location

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Apartments BUSO / dmvA Architecten" 12 Dec 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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© Frederik Vercruysse

Apartments BUSO / dmvA Architecten

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