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Notan Workplace creates “micro-city” of housing referred to as Duchesse

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Belgian studio Notan Workplace has accomplished Duchesse, a sequence of houses positioned round a communal backyard on an previous industrial website in Brussels.

Commissioned to create two homes and 6 residences, Notan Workplace designed the complicated to create the sensation of being in a small village or “micro-city”.

Duchesse’s design additionally goals to protect the positioning’s historic significance by retaining present parts whereas revamping others with new tiled volumes.

Exterior of Duchesse housing in Brussels by Notan Office
Notan Workplace has created a sequence of houses referred to as Duchesse

“Because the website was nearly fully constructed earlier than our intervention, we adopted a subtractive strategy moderately than building,” studio founder Frédéric Karam advised Dezeen.

“[This] led us to generate three distinct volumes, giving rise to the idea of a ‘micro-city’,” he continued.

The positioning, which faces an lively public sq., is dwelling to a variety of historic buildings and buildings, together with a typical late-1800s Brussels townhouse and an extended industrial corridor overlooking a shared courtyard.

Housing in old industrial site in Brussels
The houses are positioned round a communal backyard

Notan Workplace’s intervention noticed the renovation of the townhouse and the addition of two new volumes – one behind the corridor’s brick facade and one other to the rear of the positioning.

The quantity positioned behind the prevailing brick facade is clad in crystalline white tiles and its type is paying homage to the economic corridor it replaces. The second quantity is clad in contrasting crimson tiles and options angled sawtooth roofs.

Terrace of Brussels housing by Notan Office
Duchesse transforms an previous industrial website in Brussels

“The vertically positioned pink tiles resonate with the prevailing bricks of the partitions and facade, forging a reference to the positioning’s historical past,” mentioned Karam.

“Concurrently, the white tiles complement the painted present brick partitions, establishing a dialogue between the previous and the brand new,” he continued.

Housing in Duchesse development by Notan Office
Two new volumes have been added to the positioning

To strengthen the sensation of a “micro-city”, the studio designed a number of housing typologies of differing sizes to cater to varied existence. The townhouse and white constructing include residences, whereas the pink constructing is break up into two homes.

On getting into the buildings, the bottom flooring are devoted to shared actions and group areas reminiscent of bicycle parking, an atelier and a communal backyard.

Each internally and externally, supplies and parts beforehand current on the positioning have been reused and reinterpreted, such because the doorways to the residences and a winding outside staircase.

Up to date mint inexperienced metalwork on the home windows, railings and metal beams sit comfortably alongside the historic options. These delicate combos of the previous and the brand new assist to respect the id of the positioning.

Hallway with lilac details
Previous and new parts have been mixed

“The positioning exuded a way of a microcosm, due to its industrial historical past and options,” Karam defined.

“We aimed to protect and intensify this sense by integrating and reinterpreting present architectural archetypes, such because the outside staircase, annexe, industrial facade and curvy partitions whereas respecting the positioning’s architectural vocabulary,” he continued.

Interior of Duchesse in Brussels by Notan Office
One new constructing sits behind a retained brick wall

Notan Workplace is a Brussels studio based in 2014 by Karam. Elsewhere in Brussels, it created a roof extension with an Alvar Aalto-informed hearth.

Different multi-unit residential initiatives featured on Dezeen embrace a multi-generational housing scheme in Erfut by Dorschner Kahl Architects and Heine Mildner Architects and a grey-brick courtyard housing block in London by Sergison Bates Architects.

The images is by Stijn Bollart.


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