META and MikeViktorViktor win the competition for a green core in-fill area in Mortsel Oude God
Together with DMI Vastgoed, the contractors Democo, Landinzicht, Quadrant and the artist Dirk Braeckman, META architecture office and MikeViktorViktor architects have designed 5 building clusters around a green, traffic-calmed square. These include residential properties, a centre for adult education, commercial spaces and an underground car park.
This green square – the Stadsterras (city terrace) of Mortsel – will connect the centrally located Gemeenteplein (town square) with the new Oude God city park. The construction of this new urban park provided the impetus for converting several remaining plots in the heart of Mortsel into a qualitative core in-fill project that will enrich the city. META and MikeViktorViktor have designed this development of approximately 22,000 m2 with a 245-space underground car park.
Respect for the history of Mortsel
The Sint-Lutgardis school, which was bombed by the Allies in 1943, today houses the LBC-NVK Centre for Adult Education (CVO). The school is part of the historical heritage of the city of Mortsel, a tangible reminder of the drama of the bombardment. The design team have opted to preserve the entire building, which will be converted into a residential project with a green courtyard garden.
The main building on the Mechelsesteenweg will acquire a low-threshold, commercial function on the ground floor. In the back section, classrooms will be converted into residential units. For the design team, the preservation of the existing patrimony was a given. They were not only inspired by its historical significance but also by the concept of sustainability, which dictates that the existing patrimony should not be unnecessarily replaced.
A school environment within a green artery
The Centre for Adult Education will vacate the historic property and be given a new building that meets all the requirements of a school environment in the 21st century. Architectural quality, a clear structure and a focus on sustainability are paramount.
Along the connection to the Mechelsesteenweg, in addition to the new school building, there will also be a residential programme with commercial and tertiary functions on the ground floor, such as, for example, a nursery, a doctor’s office and spaces for other liberal professions. The connection from the Edegemsestraat also includes a residential programme with social housing on one side and, on the other, a commercial ground floor surmounted by a residential development. A new neighbourhood supermarket with an underground car park will occupy a central position on the square. There is also a focus on collective initiatives and facilities throughout the area. Landinzicht and Quadrant have design a traffic-free and above all green public space – one that shapes the transition from park, crosses the adjoining gardens and abuts the Mechelsesteenweg and Edegemsestraat – in a sound and well-considered manner.
The public domain will be enhanced through the integration of art by the internationally renowned artist Dirk Braeckman. Amongst his many notable achievements, Braeckman represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 2017.
The Oude God Mortsel project is located in the interior area between the new Stadspark, the Mechelsesteenweg and the Edegemsestraat.
A few figures
- 131 houses and flats, new homes for 438 (future) residents of Mortsel.
- 330 students from the Centre for Adult Education (CVO), distributed over 22 classrooms
- 13 commercial units
- 640 bike spaces
- 245 spaces in an underground car park
And now in m2
- A built surface area of 21,756 m2, of which 3,936 m2 will be renovated and 17,820 m2 is new build.
- The public domain comprises 12,773 m2.
About META architectuurbureau
META is led by partners Niklaas Deboutte and Eric Soors. The office is located in Antwerp and has about 20 employees.
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.
META has won several architectural prizes including the Belgian Architecture Award and the Belgian Building Award. In 2016, the Flemish Housing Association [VVH] awarded the Inspiring Social Housing Prize to the Gildenhuis in Beveren. Recent projects include: the Cadiz homes and offices, the Falconrui residential development, the Boshoek social housing in Boechout, the Gildenhuis in Beveren, the Montigny live-work units, the Datacenter for KU Leuven, and buildings O and M for the University of Antwerp.
Some recent projects from META: buildings O and M for the University of Antwerp, Cadiz homes and offices in Antwerp, Kindergarten Xaveriuscollege in Borgerhout, social housing Klapdorp in Antwerp, herontwikkeling of the Normaalschoolsite in Lier, rooftop greenhouse Agrotopia in Roeselare and development of the Beurshal and Congresgebouw in Bruges.
About MikeViktorViktor Architects
MikeViktorViktor is a renowned design studio speialized in architecture & urban design. The extended MikeViktorViktor portfolio contains both private and public projects with a scale ranging from 20 to 20.000 m².
MikeViktorViktor actively participates in the architectural debate by realizing concrete eye-catching projects and stunning constructional designs, whereby the fornamed projects are characterized by a particular approach to the public and private project border, a rational architectural plan and an utterly nuanced use of construction materials. The undogmatic and hands-on working methods lead to an iterative process whereby various plans and proposals are researched at the same time. Combined with our empathy and activism which drives us to listen closely and act boldly we incite positive change wherever and whenever possible.
MikeViktorViktor has successfully completed a school building in Lummen, student residences and offices for the Thomas More Hogeschool in Antwerp, a youth club in Liedekerke, a collective residential building in the Cadix district in Antwerp, a restaurant and recording studios for the television production company Woestijnvis in Vilvoorde. Besides developing competitive designs for global contests and awards and completing various case studies, the architectural firm is currently also working on some development projects in Wilrijk, Antwerp and Haasrode.
Bart Melort received his master engineer-architect at Leuven University and completed an additional postgraduate study at the renowned Berlage Instituut at Rotterdam. Nowadays he is a part-time lecturer at Gent University & a guest professor at RISEBA FAD University Riga, Latvia.