Seven architecture studios, including MVRDV, have designed separate buildings in the long-anticipated master plan for the Lake Side development in Brussels. To introduce diversity, the master plan has been designed by MVRDV and aims to bring about a denser and more vibrant life on the Tour & Taxis side, offering various amenities for its residents. The newly designed site also includes different workspaces and a nine-hectare park that promotes a more car-free communal environment. The project’s entirety is supervised by MVRDV, who also designs one of the 17 buildings within the new master plan.
Tour & Taxis is situated near Brussels North Station and plans on becoming a dynamic living and working district. The master plan for the Lake Side includes various housing options, like co-living apartments and workplaces, leisure facilities, and green public spaces. Divided into three sections, the master plan follows a certain logic. The eastern side of the plot boasts a mixed office and housing campus. The middle section comprises a courtyard with 14 buildings surrounding a public garden. The entirety of these buildings have energy-producing roofs. Other schemes in this zone feature private terraces or inaccessible green roofs to promote biodiversity.
Finally, the third section of the masterplan seamlessly blends the neighborhood into the Tour & Taxis Park, and it includes the “Park Building.” For the entire scheme, MVRDV established a framework of qualitative rules to ensure “non-uniform, humane, and essential ‘Brussels’ quality in patina and form, with a strong connection to the historic urban fabric.” In collaboration with the coordinating architect Bureau Bouwtechniek, MVRDV Is working with six other teams to realize the complete master plan. The teams include three Belgian offices (Binst Architect, Polo, and Hub) and three Danish offices (3XN, Cobe, and Effekt Arkitekter).
The widespread material used in the majority of the buildings is brick, creating seamless continuity with the Belgian traditional architectural style. Additionally, landscape architect Bureau Bas Smets has designed three landscape typologies to complement each section of the master plan. In fact, a shady forest was designed for the Eastern Zone, small hills were included in the courtyard plan, and the valley park filled the remaining space of the plan.
MVRDV has activated many buildings and master plans all over the world. In fact, the studio’s Shenzhen Women & Children Center renovation has been completed and is open to the public. Situated in Shenzhen’s Futian district, the design comprises a mixed-use tower featuring an array of public functions. In June, construction began at MVRDV’s complex of three mixed-use office towers and a conference center in Chengdu. Finally, MVRDV was recently selected to lead the Hangzhou Oil Refinery Factory Park design, an extensive project aiming to transform the former industrial district into a cultural center set in a green environment.