Procedure Architecture competition
Client Woonregie Kortrijk
The site of the former textile company Vetex enjoys an interesting location in the immediate vicinity of the heart of the city. The demolition of a number of the existing factory buildings creates an unexpected public space that, in addition to giving a boost to the district, can also function on the scale of the city.
The history of the former factory site forms the starting point for the typology and design of the most important new volumes in the heart of the site. The new residential volumes recall the image of the industrial sheds. The volumes are, as it were, cut out of the warehouses that stood there. The new sheds, the cleared factory walls and the preserved factory buildings ensure that the collective meaning of the site can be maintained.
The new dwellings combine the qualities of various familiar housing types: the individuality of the row house, the spaciousness of the loft and the intimacy of the (beguinage) courtyard house. The flexibility inherent in the structure of factory buildings is translated into a domestic scale. Small closed volumes with sanitary cores or storerooms form the fixed structural elements. Their position determines or suggests separate spaces. This gives the dwellings an open plan structure that allows for flexible infill. The presence of the shed roofs combines freedom and a feeling of space with plenty of light and a great deal of privacy in the home. Views are possible between the spaces themselves and to the spacious gardens on both sides of the house.
The layout of the various squares draws inspiration from the structures and patterns of textiles. Large carpets give the public outdoor spaces a specific texture and colour. Walking through the area is like crossing a series of rooms with their own acoustics, hardness and softness, scent, colour and light.