FONTAINAS URBAN BLOCK
Typology: Housing-Businesses and services-Public facilities and infrastructure-Public spaces
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Construction Date: Provisional acceptance 30/09/2019
Photos by: Marie-Françoise Plissart Dedry Bernard Boccara
The Fontainas project consists in the reconfiguration of a wasteland, left over after the demolition of Philips factory inthe 1980’s.
With 10.000 m2 of greenery, it is the only large-scale park in the disadvantaged urban center of Brussels. In order to create an extended park, the project proposes to reverse the logic of the city block, to ensure urban continuity, not through closed façade but through an open space dotted with volumes standing out as urban landmark.
They create a porous urban block crossed by fluid public paths enhancing soft mobility. The urban block opens into a public park that acts as inter-district link and creates meeting places but also fights against the phenomenon of urban heat islands . This has transformed a rundown area into a new urban center. The process was supported by numerous workshops with the inhabitants carried out over several years.
The project has seek to free up a maximum of space for the park, hence the parking and the sports hall have been placed underground. Their roof thus benefit the public space. The careful drawing of the topography and design of a series of shallow basins in the park, ensure the collection of rain water. They allow natural infiltration as well as temporization of rainwater for a ‘‘nearly zero rainwater discharge’’ project.
The park is set out with 5 native plant typologies developed with the help of specialized ecologists to create different ecosystems in favor of biodiversity.