RENOVATION AND COMPLETE CONVERSION OF AN OFFICE BUILDING INTO A RESIDENTIAL BUILDING
Embedded in a general revitalization program of the neighbourhood Wiels/Senne, the municipality is transforming an old Cinzano factory into social housing. Since the 1970’s this eccentric piece of brutalist architecture stands out from its neighbours. We now aim to reconcile the building with the context. We are adding or subtracting where necessary while staying true to the core values of the original design.
A generous covered patio is created at the heart of the built volume. This space allows natural light to enter the centre of the plot, where the lack of light is most acute. It also allows for a serene layout of the new housing units and becomes a place of distribution and passage. It is a large courtyard where you can store your bike, chat with your neighbours and play outside, covered when it rains.
The Cinzano patio – as we call it – also establishes a better connection with the adjacent buildings and plots. It becomes the natural extension of the communal garden right next to it.
The existing concrete structure was designed to last for more than a century. While the building has undergone various modifications for different needs, the core of the structure remained the same. It is now accommodating yet another group of users and who knows how this place will be used in 50 years? This perspective – a truly sustainable one – encourages us to keep the building’s structure totally intact, so that the chapter of its history that we are writing now does not in any way compromise its future developments.