Neervelden social housing Brasschaat

Competition project for 70 houses

This project was designed for an undeveloped area surrounded by parcels of land containing detached houses, a typically Flemish situation. While META’s proposal accords with these circumstances in conceptual terms, it also places the emphasis on other factors: greater density, the largest possible car-free zone and a well-considered collective outdoor space. This not only means that the urban fabric remains intact, but also that the quality and expansiveness of the terrain are dealt with responsibly.

A central green space divides the elongated site into 2 parts. These are further dissected by a minimum perforation for car traffic that immediately organises the necessary parking areas. Furthermore, the site will remain completely car-free. This not only drastically reduces the road infrastructure, but also contributes to the rural and green atmosphere of the project terrain.

The longitudinal axis of the site is also accentuated by a wadi that collects precipitation and plays an essential role in rainwater management. The central green space, the limited road infrastructure and the longitudinal wadi orchestrate an orderly layout of a social housing project comprising 70 single-family homes.

As in the adjoining parcels, each house has its own outdoor space. By coupling the homes back-to-back, however, the built-up footprint is kept to a limit. For example, the footprint of 2 linked houses corresponds to that of a single detached house in the surrounding parcels... a compaction by a factor of 200%. At the same time, the intelligent linking principle guarantees privacy and elevates the quality of life, while the private garden is tailored to contemporary standards.

The houses have a simple floor plan. The functional spaces (storage, toilet, bathroom...) are concentrated in the darkest parts of the house, while the living spaces border the garden. The latter is therefore viewed as an extension of the house and acts as a ‘garden room’.

The wealth of sustainable materials include a concrete plinth, salmon-pink masonry and aluminium joinery. The concrete plinth runs from the house into the garden and forms a garden wall, which not only fosters a sense of privacy but also increases security.