Text description provided by the architects. The Berkendael district was designed in 1902 and extends from the Avenue Lepoutre and the Place Brugmann, where it is drained by the streets in oblique on both sides of this axis. The Rue Joseph Stallaert is one of these perpendicular roads that give onto the Place Brugmann. Most of the streets are made up of residential houses that vary architecturally yet remain homogenous. The Rue Stallaert offers more peculiar elevation fronts. Early 20th century single-family homes juxtapose more modernist apartment buildings. Together, these dwellings form a very specific urban planning example.
The recoil of the building on the right of the parcel from the alignment of the street offers the future building a third façade that will give onto the court on the other side. The programme required by the client consists in the building of a dwelling next to his home and that comprises: on the ground floor, a professional area, on the upper floors, three identical surfaces and finally, in the basement, a car park that will house as many vehicles as possible. Although the project is built on a small plot at the scale of a family house, it results from the various legal and urban planning constraints applicable to buildings not destined for the use of a sole family.
The apartments must occupy a surface spreading over the floors head to toe in such a way that they will not extend towards the garden and that their depth remains limited. As requested by the Ixelles Commune and the Brussels Region during the preparatory meetings, the common wall was studied in a way to offer a third façade whilst respecting the regulations of the civil code concerning the views and light of common walls.
Thence, the façade is “dug” according to the distance necessary to create lateral light whilst preserving the intimacy of interior spaces. Thus, terraces were formed along the common wall. On the ground floor, a multi-use space opening towards the garden is created, a service entrance allowing it to be used as a studio.