My aim is to bring the people together and into a dialog about Europe. That they start to reflect on Europe and develop their own ideas about our living together.
Through the interaction of the common program with the political agenda of the building a dialog between citizen, politicians and NGO-workers can happen.
A library about Europe with an integrated cafe is for instance a spatial answer for this intention. The cafe attracts various people and through the juxtaposition with the library the people get in contact with the overall theme of the building. Furthermore there is a chance that citizen interact with people who work on this topic.
The existing building has a car park in the base and is absolutely disconnect from the street - I want to reverse this. Through several entrances I reconnect the building to the surrounding places and streets. I address the building to the lively neighbourhood at the "Place de la Chappelle" with the nearby train station and bus station as well as to the introverted roundish place "Tour Sablon".
A inlaid net of streets in the ground floor creates a permeability and strong embedding of the building into the city. The building has no doorstep to the street and invites the people to come in and explore the inner life of the building. This connection to the city is architecturally articulated with the paving stone surface of the places which is extending into the building.
The main characteristic of the site is for me the strong topography. It almost two floors from on side to the other. To realize the permeability I introduce the topography into the building while the ground floor is following the slope. The topography differentiate the rooms of the ground floor level and creates a landscape within the building. There are several existing and two new main circulation path which create a permeability as well in vertically through the building.
The tower as e vertical building-element is in contrast with the horizontality of the base. To bring this two building parts together I activate the roof of the base with an elevated plaza. The idea of the plaza is to have attractive public space, with a community food market, gardens and niches to contemplate and discuss. Eating as fundamental need of everybody will connect the people and bring them in an easy way into a dialog.
The building will be undermined up to the primary construction. Into the shell I put specific rooms and voids which zone open space of the floors. The functions in the open space are trough the juxtaposition in a dialog with the specific room.
The citizen house should not express a symbol or a manifestation of power it should integrate itself naturally into the neighbourhood. I reduce the existing facade to the bearing grid and work with brick fillings which react on the inner program of the building. Through the combination of different materials and a variety of gap windows the building will be familiar for the people and well embedded in the heterogeneous neighbourhood of brussels.