Bogerse Velden social housing for Lierse Maatschappij voor de Huisvesting
Clear-cut apartment buildings, semi-detached homes and dynamic terraced houses
The Bogerse Velden social housing in Lier by META architectuurbureau contains 3 autonomous and identical apartment buildings, 13 semi-detached homes and 14 terraced houses with a dynamic volumetric. The facades of the 60 dwellings further demarcate the open space. A pronounced focus on the reiteration of elements across the entire project has created a rhythmic streetscape and a clearly recognisable, collective identity.
Just outside the city centre of Lier, META has realised 60 dwellings for the Lierse Maatschappij voor Huisvesting, namely 3 autonomous buildings (containing a total of 33 apartments) and 27 houses.
Facades demarcate the open space
When designing the Bogerse Velden social housing, META placed the emphasis on the open space. The practice expanded the terrain earmarked for the play network required by the programme and created a well-organised area that is geared towards cyclists and pedestrians. The surrounding green belt, hitherto comprised of small and large zones, was completed through the inclusion of additional greenery. The facades of the 60 houses further demarcate the open space.
Three clear-cut and autonomous apartment buildings
The 3 apartment buildings present themselves as autonomous volumes. The programme envisaged each individual building as comprising 11 apartments plus a common semi-underground garage for 11 cars and 35 bicycles. The ground floor is raised by half a level. This provides a number of advantages: it eliminates direct sightlines into the building and thus ensures privacy; unnecessary energy consumption is avoided because the semi-underground garages are naturally ventilated; finally, the depth of the underground level can be limited, which makes it a budget-friendly solution.
The balconies on the buildings resemble robust sun wheels on the facades: they interrupt the volumetric of the overall design but without diminishing the clear-cut nature of the building.
Interruption of the facade row with semi-detached houses
In addition to the apartments, META has designed 13 semi-detached houses, a configuration that was created following an in-depth analysis of the various boundary conditions: views, orientation, grouping of wet functions, avoidance of long flat facades, and so on.
“Semi-detached houses shape the bevelled corner of the building plot. The connections interrupt a long, flat row of facades and create a diagonal, dynamic plan of ground-anchored dwellings, which impacts favourably on the quality of life for the residents.”
- Niklaas Deboutte
The semi-detached houses have the advantage of interrupting a flat row of facades. Moreover, the connections enable sufficient houses to be constructed while also facilitating the inclusion of wider living rooms. Furthermore, the windows in the living spaces face each other diagonally and let in plenty of light. Finally, each of these rooms is adjacent to an outdoor space: a walled outdoor area at the front, a garden at the back. All of these details contribute towards a high quality of life for the residents.
Dynamic volumetric within terraced houses
Last but not least, the project also includes 14 terraced houses in which the ground floor and first floor are always identical. A shallower volume is provided on the second floor, which is either on the street or the garden side. In the more compact houses, the second floor has been omitted. The alternation of the different types of dwellings creates an attractive volumetric within the row of houses.
“The recognisability of the houses is enhanced by assigning each volume its own type of brick. The colours of the three kinds of bricks are matched and are repeated across the project”
- Eric Soors
Various elements are reiterated throughout the project: window openings with fixed widths, identical concrete elements, characteristic balconies, choice of 3 types of bricks... The repetitions not only create rhythm in the streetscape, thereby enhancing clarity and recognisability, but also forge a collective identity. Furthermore, the use of different but matching colour tones, coupled with the receding rhythm of the 13 dwellings, binds the entire project into a harmonious whole.
About de Lierse Maatschappij voor de Huisvesting
The Lierse Maatschappij voor de Huisvesting is active in Lier and Ranst and manages approximately 1,000 social housing units. The development of the Bogerse Velden in Lier, a site of around 4 hectares, began with an urban design study that was provisionally translated into 2 architectural assignments. META’s assignment consisted of the implantation of three buildings for social rental (33 apartments) and 27 social housing units. Net-Architectuur executed the first phase, which comprised 24 affordable (intermediate) housing units.
About META architectuurbureau
For META, the essence of architecture is is a craft, a métier. For every problem a solution is devised that, if necessary, deviates from the beaten track. he designs can then be temperamental, offer resistance and sometimes also break free, but they are always well-thought-out.
As a designer, you have to be ambitious. Designing with the intent to build for eternity is the starting point. Each building is designed to be perfectly adaptable in terms of function and interpretation. A sound building is a building that is designed for unpredictable events.
Some recent projects from META: Development of the Beursplein & Congresgebouw in Bruges, buildings O and M for the University of Antwerp, building KAAI 37 in Antwerp, Kindergarten Xaveriuscollege in Borgerhout, social housing Klapdorp in Antwerp, redevelopment of the Normaalschoolsite in Lier, rooftop greenhouse Agrotopia in Roeselare and in-fill area in Mortsel Oude God.