Exclusive spaces – Spaces of exclusion
Tutor: Martine De Maeseneer
Theoretical component teacher: Dirk Jaspaert
Students: Carmen Briers – Manu Vander Avort – Sellekaerts Pieter

A century ago, Brussels boomed in the era of the industrial age. So it attracted more and more inhabitants and immigrants who came and established themselves in their search for work. One of these major landmarks of that important time was the Belle-Vue factory, famous for its beer, geuze Belle-Vue, and previously known as the ‘De Coster Factory’. Placed aside the canal, on a very important vertex of the pentagon in means of traffic and in that time trading routes, this factory was one of the faces of Brussels.

Under this brewing activity, the form and look of the factory had undergone major transformations. Over time, when this beer making was placed to a different site, the building lost his use and vigor. Notwithstanding, this monument was left untouched but nevertheless kept his status as face of Molenbeek, situated at the backside of the site. This well placed remnant of the industrial age however can and must play a major role in the revitalization of Molenbeek and Brussels. The need for good architectural design and urban integration is essential !

As one of the last vestiges of the industrial history of this area, its visual characteristics are of the biggest importance for the collective memory of the site. The imposing brick mastodon shapes define the quai of the canal, exactly where it is adjoining the city center. The landmark status of the factory must be respected. By taking into account the collective memory of the place in our new design, the goal is to create a new appreciation for the old building complex.
“Urban porosity is a key intention for large hybrid buildings with the aim of pedestrian oriented urban places” (Steven Holl). Designing a public building as an island can’t function as a part in the urban fabric. This is why the masterplan for the area makes use of the soon to be executed Ninoofse Poort park plan by BUUR, but some essential changes are made to create a co-existence between the Ninoofse Poort and Belle-Vue, physical as well as programmatic. More globally seen, a link between Molenbeek and Brussels. If attacking both designs separately, disfunctioning of both would be unavoidable.

Designing Belle-Vue begins with 2 supporting elements: The collective memory and a mixture of program.
The existing memory, the covered courtyard feeling, the brick massiveness of the building and the tetris block-like building shape of the brewery building, is handled by a concept “InsideOut/OutsideIn”. A new spatial experience is created by 3 main interventions. The first is maintaining the enclosed character and identity by keeping the front façade, keeping entrance locations and renewal of the strongest volumes. Second, the middle outside space is turned into a central covered courtyard which links all non-residential programmatic functions. Inside and outside space are at the same time socially controlled. Third is preserving existing facades but vary with its use. By opening up existing and new structures, identity is saved but a different use for them is created.

Programmatically, the site as a catalysator for the neighbourhood requires a healthy mix of users, activity day and night. The public program is enforced with a residential one. City flight in certain layers of the community towards the countryside forms a problem for maintaining a correct mix of city inhabitants. Here the residential can present a possible solution by ameliorating the aspects on which these flight is based. Levels are designed as one big plan, consisting of units and shared space. Passive activities are placed in the units, where the active take place in the shared zone. People live equally separate and communal. Relation between all layers of inhabitants is initiated.
The beer museum attracts yet again different users, where this museum is designed as a walkway that regulates all internal organization. The museum visitors will, on their walk, not only behold the essential elements of the brewing process, also they visually encounter the users of other functions. The experience becomes one of “see and be seen”.


P58 Laura Spelier | Esther Scheyltjens | Viktor Derks



The Pentagon has been alienated from its identity, it’s hard to feel oneself at home in the metropolis’ beating heart.

But can an architect restore – let alone create – a home? If we look up the origins of this rather vague term, one can perceive a fundamental differ- ence between the mental and the material aspect of living man has made throughout history. The Greeks spoke about hestia, the religious midpoint of a dwelling, and oikos, the house as a structure. In German one translates the former as heimat, which doesn’t only mean home, but also the relation- ship of man towards a certain space. Henceforth an architect couldn’t be able to build a home, since it doesn’t concern something material.

Or can he? We divided the manifestation of the concept of home into three aspects: memory, that what one remembers as well as what one has been taught, identity, how one is or appears to be as an individual, and ter- ritory, the space one relates oneself to. Maybe we can’t influence home per se, but we can manipulate these manifestations.
The first brings us to the historical context of the site: rather than a revival of functions, we restored some iconic images, through the use of certain seemingly classical typologies like a courtyard, a gallery and a grand café. The second aspect concerns local (building) traditions: instead of thwarting an old habit, we reinterpreted the typical non-urban typology of housing.
For territory we formulated a solution against the privatisation and seg- regation in society.

These 3 aspects of home mainly focus on personal individual qualities but a fourth important component of being home is feeling part of a so- cial network. In our individualistic society this is a quality one has to re- establish and emphasise without losing the luxury of personal space. We introduced the concept of ‘hoodhouses’ as a communal space for a number of families to help them to create their own neighbourhood. By using this tool we give attention to a good gradual transition between public and private space.





























































































HOUSE 58. An urban alternative

HOUSE 58. An urban alternative.  Brussels 2012

Exclusive spaces – Spaces of exclusion

Tutor: Martine De Maeseneer

Theoretical component teacher: Dirk Jaspaert

Students: Simona Bontea, Albertina De Pelsmacker, Grace De Smet, Artyom Kravtchenko


In the face of the urban exodus from the center of Brussels towards the city fringes and countryside areas, alternative housing typologies in the city center are lacking. Growing mobility problems, a growing need for affordable housing for young families and a growing need for more valuable activities in the public space intensify the secluded character of qualitative living areas in Brussels.

The reallocation of Parking 58 is a compact ensemble of living units, collective spaces and green public area. Even though the monolithic building lies on an exclusive space, it functions as a space of exclusion: nowadays it is nearly impossible to design dominant large-scale architecture for the car on such a prominent place in the dynamic heart of the city. Parking 58 demands a thorough rethinking of its destination. The late modernistic architecture by D’Haveloose and Lipski (1958) with its emphasis on the circulation of the car – most apparent in the spatial experience of driving the car up in the building and thereby getting a panoramic view over the city – has been rethought on the level of living in the building. In other words, the ideology that once was applied for the car user, has now been approached from the perspective of the ‘slow’ user, namely the resident and the pedestrian visitor. The existing repetitive grid structure and the up-going spiral of the building are considered as valuable remaining elements to implement the strategy. Although it seems evident to fall back on the ordinary inflation of units and functions following the grid structure, this idea was excluded. From our personal conceptions and discussions, four guidelines were formulated to reply to the existing structure: directing the eye, meaning the visual experience one has constituted by architectural space in and outside the building; the extension of the rear side of the house, meaning the possibility to extend the living units of the residents; the pocket spaces, focusing more on the spatial experience of living in the unit; and the in-between spaces. Living this way leads to a more free use of the given space in which collective spaces contribute to it. Experiencing the building is translated, as making a promenade through a succession of spaces whereby the confrontation with the grid has not been put aside (see the passage, the pentagon and the spiral). From our point of view, it does not seem evident to change the average settled idea of people having their own mainstream house-garden model. This being said, our project suggests a new concept towards qualitative living and housing in the city.



Skype meeting Ecuador – Belgium
Dear Alfa ADU partners
On friday, january 18th, we conducted a videoconference to share experiences with our peers from Belgium; despite having some technical problems, the experience was very enriching for our team since we got to see we have more things in common than we thought at the beginning. Our students got excited to present again their ideas in the future and they are developing their proposals and practicing their English for more events like this.
Thanks to the Belgium team, specially to Kris!
Looking forward to more video-conferences!!

‘Back Home : a personal note’ by Martine De Maeseneer (AD)
Team 4: Community Building Belle-Vue


Exclusive spaces – Spaces of exclusion
Turot: Martine De Maeseneer
Theoretical component teacher: Dirk Jaspaert
Students: Aline Stas, Hicham Hajib, Nina Korkach, Ruta Valiunaite
Brussels pentagon area is becoming alienated as people do not find enough qualities for living in it. Suburban lifestyle is perceived as a perfect living condition. As a result, in such metropolis as Brussels there is a need of implementing “compact city” ideas and providing city center with appropriable spaces and especially in such an exclusive area like La Monnaie in the very city of Brussels.
La Monnaie square with its surrounding buildings lies in the core of Brussels center where two parallels are merging – two opposite scales and identities. Historically it has been along the main access connecting south and north city nodes. However, the construction of Aanschpachlaan has pushed it to a secondary matter. In addition to this, a new high-rise Monnaie center has blocked any possible links in between and has risen as a monument for modernism era. This is why partly empty office building in a concept of exclusive spaces, spaces of exclusion has become a target point to create a compact living dwelling with in the heart of the city center.
To be able to create a building that merges within the surrounding area and gives possibility of qualitative living space we took an approach from personal memories and experiences that compose of: communication through indirectness, meaning spaces being used for not only their initial matter allowing sudden discoveries and interchangeability, such as new friendships, and freedom to change, meaning being able to change reacting to an individual need.
We treat the building as a living space where unexpected interactions can happen and people are constantly mixing, changing their experiences, spending time together, interact with the city itself. For this we create an atrium as a community space. Indirect communication while being able to see but not to be seen is possible there. Community space (atrium) becomes no longer a mono-functional space with clear boundaries but entirely interwoven with the structure of the building, all spaces overlap, modernistic approach towards layering is absolutely deconstructed. With our project we open new possibilities for the city center to invite people for living suggesting new dwelling typologies.




Strategy for community

What do you do to feel at ‘home’?

What about the car in the city?

Choice of site: parking 58



‘Back Home – A Personal Note’, AD by Martine De Maeseneer


Dear Students,
welcome to the design Studio and to the ALFA III ADU2020 Project.
We invite you to know more about the ADU project on the official website, pressing on the Logo, and to take a look on the Brief, Calendar and Tasks. The File button will be our tool to share internal studio information. The Add New Post button will be our tool to upload tasks and works in different stages. (see calendar).
Wishing the best for all, let’s start working!.
Estimados estudiantes,

Bienvenidos al Proyecto Piloto de ALFA III ADU_2020, que es parte de la Comunidad Europea (Europeaid) y de 18 instituciones de Educación Superior de Latino-América y Europa. Trabajaremos en paralelo con talleres de otros 17 paises más y cada estudio tendrá paises-pareja de trabajo.
Los invitamos a saber más sobre el proyecto ADU, También a explorar el blog y echar un vistazo en el calendario, Programa y Tareas. El botón “file” será nuestra herramienta para compartir información. El botón “Add new post” será nuestra herramienta para subir las tareas y sus trabajos en diferentes etapas del curso. (ver calendario para saber cuando hay tareas comentadas).

Deseando lo mejor para todos, entonces que comience el trabajo!.