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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Le Toison d’Or in Brussels, Belgium by UNStudio

 
March 15th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: UNStudio

Designed for ProWinko and in collaboration with Belgian architects Jaspers-Eyers, Le Toison d’Or is a hybridisation of a traditional building-block typology and a mixed-use development with a retail podium.

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

  • Architects: UNStudio
  • Project: Le Toison d’Or
  • Location: Brussels, Belgium
  • Photography: Hufton+Crow, Eva Bloem
  • Client: TD Immo Invest BVBA, Brussels
  • UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Wesley Lanckriet, Jacques van Wijk and Hans Kooij, Tina Kortmann, Tatjana Gorbachewskaja, Philipp Meise, Jaap-Willem Kleijwegt, Marie Prunault, Tomas Mokry, Nanang Santoso, Olivier Yebra, Thomas Harms, Rene Wysk, Todd Ebeltoft, Patrick Noome, Charlotte Guyaux, Johanna Mencia, Machiel Wafelbakker, Bartek Winnicki, Aurelie Krotoff, Ondrei Kyjanek, Wendy van der Knijff
  • Belgian architect: Jaspers-Eyers Architects, Brussels (BE)
  • Realisation phase: Wesley Lanckriet, U/Define Architects
  • Structural Engineer: ABCIS Van Wetter S.A., Brussels (BE)
  • Landscape architect: Lodewijk Baljon landschapsarchitecten, Amsterdam (NL) Atelier Ruimtelijk Advies, Berchem (BE)
  • Installations: Techniplan adviseurs, Rotterdam (NL)  TDEC, Rumst (BE)
  • Building Physics and sustainability: DGMR, Arnhem (NL)
  • Cost calculation: BBN adviseurs, Houten (NL) Widnell Europe, Brussels (BE)
Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

  • Fire Safety: FPC Fire Protection Consultants, Antwerpen (BE)
  • Quality Control: SECO, Brussels (BE)
  • Main contractor: CFE NV – BPC Brabant, Watermaal-Bosvoorde (BE)
  • Building surface: 48000 m2
  • Building volume: 87000 m3 (above ground), 110.000 m3 (underground); total 197.000 m3
  • Building site: 5800 m2
  • Status: Completed
Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Located on the Avenue de la Toison d’Or between two historical gates(the Porte Louise and the Port de Namur), the mixed-use complex integrates into the urban fabric of its surroundings, whilst simultaneously merging a retail and residential programme.

Le Toison d’Or contains 72 apartments (from 50 to 750 m2), 12, 200 m2 of commercial space, a 1,040 m2 crèche, 330 parking spaces and an elevated city garden of 2,950 m2.

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

In order to avoid the monolithic qualities common to block structures, the façade of Le Toison d’Or is broken up by means of variations in texture, depth and the repeating rhythm of a series of curved vertical frames.These frames serve to enclose the balconies of the apartments on the upper floors, whilst also facilitating the large display windows of the retail units.

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Image Courtesy © Hufton+Crow

Ben van Berkel: “It was important that the retail units be as open and light and possible.We wanted to contrast this with the apparent solidity of the upper floors, to create the illusion that the vertical balloon-like frames were carrying the building;as if the whole block almost has the potential float above the avenue.”

Ben van Berkel: “In architecture we tend to favour abstraction and to avoid figuration. But on the street facade of the Toison d’Or building we wanted to investigate the space between the abstract and the figurative,to create moments of tacit allusion to the pictorial.”

Image Courtesy © Eva Bloem

Image Courtesy © Eva Bloem

In contrast to the vertical articulation of the street facade, the facades surrounding the elevated courtyard garden follow a horizontal arrangement. Here generously proportioned balconies provide a more tranquil experience of city life.

To access the apartments visitors and residents enter the building from the street side, where a large sculptural staircase leads them up to the main reception lobby, which is located towards the rear and elevated above the two retail levels. From here they can continue to further lobby areas furnished with informal seating, where the elevators to the apartments are also located.

Image Courtesy © Eva Bloem

Image Courtesy © Eva Bloem

The apartments in Le Toison d’Or vary in size from small to large, enabling a varied demographic of city residents. To ensure high levels of daylight in the interiors, the floor to ceiling heights reach at least 2.7 meters in living areas. For the apartments situated along the Avenue de la Toison d’Or, this height increases to more than 3 meters.Open kitchens in the form of large furniture elements create an informal entertaining space in the heart of the apartments and determine the circulation through the spaces.

Image Courtesy © Eva Bloem

Image Courtesy © Eva Bloem

Le Toison d’Or has been developed with high standards of sustainability. Main features are the excellent the rmic isolation of the façade (including triple glazing), a high standard of acoustic insulation, an inventive cogeneration installation system for both the apartments and the retail units and the use of glass-fiber reinforced concrete.

Image Courtesy © UNStudio

Image Courtesy © UNStudio

Image Courtesy © UNStudio

Image Courtesy © UNStudio

Image Courtesy © UNStudio

Image Courtesy © UNStudio

Image Courtesy © UNStudio

Image Courtesy © UNStudio

Image Courtesy © UNStudio

Image Courtesy © UNStudio

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Categories: Apartments, Mixed use, Retail

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