SG2 Design
LES JARDINS DE TILIA APARTMENTS. Brussels, Belgium, 2006-2008.
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I was part of the project team while working at Conix Architects in Brussels, Belgium, for the design of a new five-storey apartment complex development completed for the 'Bouygues' construction group.

240 apartments are arranged in two L-shaped blocks around an internal courtyard greenspace. The apartment types varied from Studios to 3-Bedroom units, with individual private open spaces/gardens for the ground floor apartments and two stories of basement carpark.

Being located on a prominent corner site, the main difficulties we encountered were: maintaining a consistency of streetscape frontage with the surrounding low-rise housing, while at the same time attempting to inexpensively break-up the vast scale and mass of the complex. We looked at using two-tone brickwork, as bricks are the dominant material used in the area and throughout the country, making them a very affordable material.

Our first scheme incorporated a distinctive plynth, cut-outs, setbacks and overhanging boxes along the facades, which were emphasised by the different coloured brickwork. We also varied the levels of the two wings, from three-storey to six-storey to negotiate the change in levels of the site. Overall it worked quite effectively in breaking-down the large mass into smaller "components", but the proposal was ultimately simplified in the subsequent scheme, as the setbacks generated more 'inefficient' and non-typical apartments in plan.
The final scheme also had a section that was previously six-storey then reduced to five, as a result of council requirements and neighbouring objections. It also had a more distinctive breakdown of the building into individual blocks compared to the previous scheme, which was more "serpentine" in pattern and composition of the facades.

©2014 Sebastiano Ghezzi

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