The project is part of the “Cinéma Belle-vue” action plan: its objective is the redevelopment of the town hall square in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean in Brussels as well as three stretches of roadway leading to the square.

The program required to combine in the same building (overlooking the public space) the administrative functions for the new extension of the town hall and 5 dwellings.

Studio Name: Pierre Blondel Architectes
Design Team: Pierre Blondel, Mathieu Wilputte, Catherine Vanhamme, Amaya Mansito, Geneviève Van Ranst, Dao Doan
Area: 3 813 m2
Year: 2016
Location: Brussels
Consultants: MEP and HVAC: Mk Engineering
Environmental and sustainability: Mk Engineering
Structure Engineers: BESP
Lanschape architects: MS-A

Photography Credits: Julien De Bock

Little Senne by Pierre Blondel Architectes - Sheet4
©Julien De Bock

The implementation of the project allows avoiding dead angles, linking the public spaces located on one side and the other side of the plot, and enhancing the old and historical route of the Petite Senne river.

To correctly distinguish the housing function from the administrative function, the program was separated into two volumes with two distinct entrances: one with the main entrance on rue Sainte-Marie and the other with its entrance on rue Vandermaelen.

Little Senne by Pierre Blondel Architectes - Sheet6
©Julien De Bock

Regarding the longitudinal façade which is located on the site of the former Petite Senne river, the intention was to suggest the transparency and fluidity of the water. The curved façade and the glazed overhanging ramp resonate with the history of the site. While also solidifying the continuity between the exterior public space and the interior public space. The pedestrian axis reinforces, with its landscaping, the dialogue with the interior space of the planned building.

The main access of the administrative service is located on rue Sainte-Marie, in connection with the metro. The demography/foreign services are logically deployed on the first and second floors. The slope of the ramp is gentle and makes its use pleasant. Thanks to this, continuity and connection is created between the first floor and the first floor.

Little Senne by Pierre Blondel Architectes - Sheet7
©Julien De Bock

On the second floor, some offices are not accessible to the public. They are distributed logically to give them more privacy. The 5 residences are developed adjacent to the administrative building. They are more slender and have a less glazed facade. Each has a well-oriented outdoor space.

The last 2 apartments are located on the triangular extension of the Rue Sainte-Marie side, in the extension of the residential building that forms the corner with the Rue Comte de Flandre.

Little Senne by Pierre Blondel Architectes - Sheet8
©Julien De Bock

Underneath the entire surface of the building is the -1 floor composed of several technical rooms and a 30-space parking lot intended to partially replace the elimination of the parking lot on the surface of the town hall square.

As for the spatial organization of the technical installations of the administrative building, we can speak of an evolutionary system. Everything has been foreseen for a possible future reorganization of the plant, opting for maximum flexibility to be able to devote it to another use. The building functions with a backbone of technical installations that feeds the different rooms, respecting a modular rhythm that allows changes of use as well as the displacement of enclosures.

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