Student center with public program, Schaarbeek, 2020 - 2023
Projectteam: IEA in collaboration with BUROBILL and Roeland Tweelinckx

At Place de la Reine 1030 Schaerbeek, an urban renewal project for neighborhood meeting and student housing is developing on behalf of Renovas. Under the imposing dome of St. Mary's Church and on the square behind it (future car-free zone), 3 original 19* century residential buildings will be transformed and connected. The facades and the dividing walls are approached from a historical and recuperative perspective: maximum restoration and recuperation. The original structure evolves into an open house with many rooms with open internal enfilades, split levels and cornices in cascade. At the back, the original back-house studio is reconstructed for functions of public encounter. The student pool with event space and public forum will have an open public plinth at the bottom with grand cafe, info point and art window that connects through a green public passage to the hidden historic garden of the House of Arts. The urban views of the site and the connection with the House of Arts are architectural heritage and are approached and elaborated by the design team with respect for the historical contextuality. The original volumetry of the 3 residential houses is topped by a recessed new building volume in a light structure that provides the 13 student units with a double-height common space, residence terraces and captivating vistas to the public square, church dome and the secret walled garden.