Masterplan & execution De Kaart Brasschaat


City of Brasschaat

19.540m2 built + 32.500m2 terrain

Middelkaart, 2930 Brasschaat

Cie-O + Cluster + Van Roey

© In Functie Van

  • study
  • in progress
  • built

The ‘De Lage Kaart’ project comprises the complete reconversion of a 1.5 ha site in the midst of a 60s garden area of Kleine Landendom. This spacious, open and especially green site is at the moment generously divided between 2 primary schools and a charming forest. The “trigger” for the new site redevelopment is the forced demolition and new construction of both schools. This necessity creates a momentum to drastically commemorate the entire site. Selected private developers are challenged through a competition dialogue to finance the construction of both schools, multi-purpose pavilion and a real neighborhood sports hall with the proceeds from the land value in the residential development of the site, which resulted in the number of 100 new housing units to reach the financial feasibility of this new development. The housing density increases from 15 to more than 50 homes / ha.

While designing the project for Kaart neighborhood we had to face complex challenges on many levels and one of the main design question was how can we to create a higher density within the suburbian context without losing the neighborhood feeling of the site?
Can such a scale jump be implemented in a gentle way and maybe even give something back to the already existing neighborhood?

Having those community values in mind, we have reversed the typical logic of designing such a program and instead of putting the main focus first on the buildings we have designed the architecture starting from the open spaces. The aim was to achieve the maximum synergy between this set of overlapping landscapes and the new building blocks, their various program and different users of the site. We wanted to design a flow of meeting points of different scale and function that would serve not only for the new project area, but also for the whole surrounding community.

Additionally, the ambition of the project was to turn this into sustainable development, not only in terms of energy (heat network), use of resources and space, but also in terms of social sustainability. Therefore the masterplan itself is developed as a mix of different typologies, allowing a healthy mix of inhabitants. New housing development consist of row houses, so called ‘kangoroe’ apartments, care homes, a cohousing project and urban villas, all developed within one coherent architectural language. With this wide range of new homes we aim to provide a place for everyone: young, old or in need of care, mediated or not, as a couple, single or with a large family. As for the public buildings there will be new schools, a centrally located sports hall and community pavilion, all linked by surrounding common and public places and squares.