Boshoek social housing Boechout

Housing project with 11 apartments




Competition first place




structural engineering


This project is located in the town of Boechout, to the south of Antwerp. The programme is comprised of 11 social housing units and an underground car park. The wedge-shaped plot is sited at the crossroads where Boshoek meets Alexander Franckstraat. The conflicting building lines of these two streets are subtly linked in the gently curving façade of this project, that draws the passer-by around the volume.

A distinction between public and private is established along the street façade through the slight raising of the car park volume above street level. This has the double advantage of enabling both natural light and ventilation to the car park, whilst lending the ground floor apartments additional privacy.

The façade is load-bearing, and consists of a brick-clad concrete structural grid. This structure is read in relief, with the regular bays interchangeably filled-in with deep-set floor-to-ceiling windows or recessed brickwork panels. This rigid repetition is broken only for the creation of entrances; namely the main entrance to the building and that of the car park. This structural line is repeated through the building in the form of a series of offsets that both establish the ordering of function and forces.

The programme itself is organized around a central collective corridor that is repeated over three floors. With each storey the building volume is stepped back to the rear in accordance with the local building codes. This serves to tie the building to the context, whilst maintaining a consistent architectural expression of the building as a whole.