Location2650 Edegem, Belgium
Text description provided by the architects. This project is framed within a wider masterplan for the Fort V site, aiming to strengthen the current function of public park. The 'bioclass' is known to locals, but needs a new infrastructure. It is conceived as a new reception centre for education of nature and ecology for the region.
The design interprets the existing warehouse as a Hortus Conclusus, in which the existing walls are considered as garden walls. The warehouse will be opened up in certain area's to allow vegetation to grow in a controlled way. Zones will be installed which house rare plant species, a swamp, or a summer bar reception area. The hall is the first place to start excursions for fauna and flora, which can extend into the park of Fort V.
The Regional House itself reflects this educative and ecological approach through a radically sustainable and participative architecture. Structurally arched walls, inspired by the arch masonry of the fort, are made of compressed earth blocks from local clays. An insulation façade and roof of hempcrete is left apparent as finishing and makes this building CO2-negative. Only two construction techniques make the superstructure of this building honest, minimalistic and educational.
19000 blocks were produced in a 3 week workshop, and 312 m2 of hempcrete was installed in a 2 week workshop: together, more than 150 volunteers worked on and learned with this project.