To maintain the green area for the town, they did not extend the row of houses, but designed a pavilion in the park with “roots” between the trees and shrubs. They used the garden wall as a rear wall, so the building is barely visible from the street. The façade was laid in the thin-bed method; the texture of the bricks fits very well into the rampant growth of the surroundings.
URBAN RECREATION AREA
Using a pavilion allowed a larger space to be kept vacant. In addition, the in- teraction between the two functions – urban park and day care centre – brings added value to both, and also to the urban fabric. All functions are clear, obvious and spatially logical. The round skylights punctuating the outer wall as windows increase social control in the park. They create a friendly atmosphere, doing justice to the name of the project: “De Ark” – the ark. Together, the pavilion and wall create a space protected from the outside world.
Nowadays, it’s all about sustainability and the ecological footprint. History teaches us that brick buildings are not only long-lasting, but are also exceptionally durable. A comforting thought for anyone who invests in real estate.
Bart Lens, Lens°Ass Architecten
SUSTAINABILITY AS A KEY REQUIREMENT
All materials used (concrete, brick and wood) were chosen and incorporated with the application of the relevant sustainability criteria. The large trees which were preserved, and which shelter the new pavilion, contribute to the climatic concept. Rainwater is collected in the courtyards and on the roofs, and is able to seep into the ground. The choice of bricks, too, reflects this approach: clay is part of our physical environment. Bart Lens says that, as the architects had dealt with some very old houses in the course of their many conversion projects, they naturally became acquainted with the unique properties of brick. He appreciates brick because of “the wonderfully aging patina, the easy cleanability, flexible use and reuse, and also the solid robustness of the material”. “De Ark” creates a feel-good atmosphere in respect to nature and sustainability.
Facts & Figures
Project nameDe Ark, Hasselt, Belgium
ClientVZW De Wiekslag
Terca Blau-Rood Genuanceerd
Year of completion2014