It’s a win! “Rozemaai at home”

“Rozemaai at home”, the proposal of BOGDAN & VAN BROECK and Shift AU together with Studie 10, has been chosen by a jury under the chairmanship of Antwerp’s Bouwmeester (City Architect) Christiaan Rapp as the winner of the design competition for Field 15a in Rozemaai: 140 social dwellings, 30 affordable dwellings, a nursery, commercial facilities and a range of public spaces, carried out by the social housing company Woonhaven Antwerpen. 

“Rozemaai at home” solves one of the major contradictions in social housing projects today: the tension between the need for standardization on the one hand and the need for identity on the other hand. Building blocks, outdoor spaces, buildings and housing units must all be the same for budgetary reasons and all different for socio-cultural reasons. That is why we opted for a deliberately deployed ambiguity in the urban design model, building typologies and architecture for Field 15a in Rozemaai, a modernist post-war district of Antwerp undergoing a large-scale transformation.

At the neighbourhood level, there is no element in the structure of the public space that embodies the idea of a community. The question thus posed from both the local and the broader context is how we can create a home here, a meaningful place that combines solid suburban living quality with a landscape design based on both reinforced ecological connections and qualitatively accessible greenery. 

“Rozemaai home” is the result of a search for a living environment in which homes and their residents are considered part of a larger whole, a Habitat. Neither the modernist city with isolated living machines in the green nor the traditional city with closed building blocks, streets and squares offer the answer in the context of Rozemaai. The answer lies in residential buildings and residential communities that enter into a new relationship with each other, the ground level and the surroundings. One doesn’t make a ‘home’ with buildings alone…

Date: 16.12.2020