Participatory urban interventions
in collaboration with: Omar Kashmiry
Site: Helihavenlaan, Antwerpenlaan, Brussels
When thinking of an inclusive city, we believe that architecture should facilitate life rather than negate it. Though, when observing public spaces in Brussels, we can find numerous defensive designs and anti-architecture preventing and controlling behaviours. How can we break down or intervene a defensive city-scape by testing a locally imagined and supported urban environment? And, how can these tests feed the larger urban development plans?
The site of this self-initiated project is located in the center of the Northern Quarter, around a social housing complex at the Helihavenlaan and Antwerpsesteenweg in Brussels. It is an area in the midst of an urban transformation. According to the recently published Sustainable Neighborhood Contract Helihaven-Antwerpen, it is decided to re-purpose the space of the entire plinth and esplanade surrounding the six housing blocks. The text mentions to ‘onsite test’ these changes within the local context. Within a series of participatory design and build workshops on site, we aim to contribute to this testing phase. By doing so, future plans proposed by the city are spread as well, and are questioned, imagined and possibly even enriched by local inhabitants.