A post-industrial region in Brussels will find a new lease on life thanks to the vision of Henning Larsen Architects. The Dutch architecture firm, in collaboration with Architects A2RC, recently won a design competition to redevelop Brussels’ Key West development with a strong focus on livability. The masterplan will introduce new housing, community facilities, and stronger ties to the waterfront and urban farming.
As part of a plan to redevelop its old industrial areas, the Government of Brussels launched the Canal Plan, the biggest urban development project in the Brussels region. The Key West development, headed by Henning Larsen Architects and Architects A2RC, aims to bring greater socio-economic cohesion to a challenged region, particularly Anderlecht, a municipality with a rough reputation. The masterplan will inject new life along the canal and add 46,000 square meters of housing in addition to 17,000 square meters of community spaces including public spaces, sports facilities, and urban farming initiatives.
“We were inspired by the Government of Brussels’ ambitions to tap into the spirit of the old industrial area by introducing ‘second generation industries’ ─ local production facilities such as e.g. microbreweries, a cookie factory, coffee roasting facilities. As architects involved in urban planning one of our most distinguished tasks is to create the physical framework for an area like Key West to regain economic growth and community cohesion,” says Partner at Henning Larsen, Jacob Kurek.
In addition to an inviting mixed-use streetscape, Key West will enjoy a stronger relationship to the canals through new waterfront infrastructure that will use biotopes to improve water quality and rainwater collection to handle impervious runoff. Residences will be stacked atop first-floor retail and restaurants and will include co-housing options that offer large 8 to 9 bedroom apartments for shared living. Rooftop urban farms will be made visible from the street and the locally grown produce is tied into a scheme for a farmers market to be located in the south-facing town square. The Key West development is slated for completion by 2022.
Images via Henning Larsen Architects