2016 - 2019 Leuven
The building site, situated parallel to the railroad tracks of the Leuven train station, is in many ways remarkable. It’s located within walking distance to the station, which is undergoing large scale developments, but it also seamlessly connects to the smaller scale residential area of ‘Klein Rijsel’.
Abscis Architecten en A2D architecture 2 design collaborated on this project. In many ways the design tries to be an answer to the contemporary quest of quality urbanisation, specifically on a site surrounded by a clash of different scale developments. On one hand we have the large scale office developments as a result of the restructuring of the train station area. On the other hand we have smal(ler) scale residential projects in the ‘Klein Rijsel’ neighbourhood with singular family homes. The public space around these houses isn’t yet at its full potential, which is why the new project tried to elevate the area not only by quality architecture, but also by bringing the surrounding area to the next level. In this manner, the ‘Klein Rijsel’ project functions as a bridge between both parts of the city – its function is to be the glue between the different scales of the surroundings.
The design functions as a transition between the linear developments next to the railway and the smaller buildings of the ‘Klein Rijsel’ neighbourhood by their positioning and scale. It also addresses this predicament on a smaller level. On the side of the ‘Boulevardstaat’ the size of the design aligns with the scale of the adjacent buildings, whereas on the other side, near the ‘Provinciehuis’, a more robust volume is required to make a proper connection.