Architects: AUXAU – Atelier d’Architecture

Typology: Fitness & cafe

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Construction Date: 2020

Photos by: Severin Malaud

AUXAU – Atelier d’Architecture

The architectural practice of the studio is inspired by the principle of “dictation with holes”, conveying the idea that each intervention will complete the gaps left to meet the needs, in perfect relation with the existing context, with the leitmotiv of reuse and the valorisation of what can be preserved.

Regarding this project, a symbolic dimension is added to this posture: the human being (re)takes place in the interior of this block. The individual car is gradually leaving the city and freeing up pockets of space for the development of new forms of urban activity around a shared living space.

The idea was to reinvest an old abandoned car garage, witness to a bygone urban practice, to dedicate this new space to the caring of human bodies.

The interventions are punctual and targeted: to limit demolition and reconstruction, to enhance the value of the existing space and to instil an overall coherence to the site.

The existing space is highlighted, and the sports and technical functions are integrated around a new circulation that is interposed between these different elements, in a deliberately industrial language.

This interweaving of functions reactivates the site by placing the new circulation at the centre of the project. At the top, to accentuate the breakthrough, a light well naturally takes its place between the free spaces left by the existing buildingslocated on the upper floors.

The transformation of this place is based on a promise: rebuilding the city around shared spaces by creating a place which expresses itself within the existing environment.