City square Mortsel / Abscis Architecten

City square Mortsel / Abscis Architecten

© Thomas De Bruyne© Thomas De Bruyne© Thomas De Bruyne© Thomas De Bruyne+ 10

  • Architects: Abscis Architecten
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1045
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2013
  • Photographs Photographs:  Thomas De Bruyne
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: EQUITONE
  • Design Team:ABSCIS ARCHITECTEN BVBA
  • Client:Autonoom Gemeentebedrijf Mortsel / Van Roey-Dexia
  • Cost:office: € 2.225.253 – square: €7.707.870 – car park: €7.760.577 excl. VAT and fees
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© Thomas De Bruyne
© Thomas De Bruyne

Text description provided by the architects. This project consists of three essential parts: a passive multi-functional building, the sustainable city square with awning and underground car park. All components have been realised in a Public-Private Partnership.

Master Plan
Master Plan

The passive, multi-functional building is characterised by a 10m. (nearly 33 feet) cantilever. This technical masterpiece helps to make this building not only a remarkable item on the square, but it also, thanks to its direction, puts extra emphasis on that location as a busy traffic junction: cyclists and cars ride and drive under the overhang in and out of the underground car park, cyclists ride underneath the square to the other side of the Liersesteenweg, pedestrians and cyclists cross this axis heading for the station, town hall or shops or take the stairs/lift to the underground platform.

© Thomas De Bruyne
© Thomas De Bruyne

On the ground floor there is space for a city cafe with terrace next to the elongated entrance axis with lifts for the offices above. The offices above are changeable in size, from large to small units. The building is an essential component of the square and has the same identity as the square: urban, but with a small-scale focus, an external layer of grey fibre cement sheets in different sizes, combined with sleek, wooden block windows.

© Thomas De Bruyne
© Thomas De Bruyne

The north-south direction of the sustainable square is determined by the movement of the bicycle traffic underneath the square along the train tunnel and an awning which stretches even over the Liersesteenweg. It is reinforced by interchanging two different strips in texture and colour in the outdoor paving, i.e. dark in the enormous amount of coloured concrete paving slabs and glazed concrete tiles.

© Thomas De Bruyne
© Thomas De Bruyne

The square paving stretches to the edge of town hall making it in this way an essential component of the new City square. The awning has been removed from all adjacent units and makes an important visual and material connection between the two parts of the square. The awning also covers two tram and bus stops and the outside stairs to the underground platforms. The translucent awning consists of galvanised steel columns structured like branches,

Render
Render

carrying the big wedge-shaped components in safety glass. Between these glass plates of the awning, PV-cells are planned to provide 40% of all lighting for car park and square. This print provides welcome shade in the summer and is easy to maintain thanks to its non-transparent quality. At night the awning will be lit up and simultaneously provide basic lighting for the square. The rain water hitting the awning is transported to an underground tank and re-used in the public toilets.

© Thomas De Bruyne
© Thomas De Bruyne

It is planned to line the square with sycamore trees which will give the square its actual shape and also separates it from the cycle path around it. All necessary infrastructure is planned to call the square truly multi-functional: benches, fountains and all sorts of technical wizardry for the weekly market or other events.

Section
Section

Underground car park

The underground part of this project consists of a car park with three logically constructed parking levels for a total of 505 cars and 250 bicycles. The support structure allows for a user friendly drive and park direction. Public toilets are on level 1, central in relation to stairs and lifts and accessible for everybody. The car park will also house a bicycle point for repair and renting of bicycles.

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Project location

Address:Stadsplein, 2640 Mortsel, Belgium

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "City square Mortsel / Abscis Architecten" 06 Jul 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/522051/city-square-mortsel-abscis-architecten> ISSN 0719-8884
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