Brussels, Belgium - 2015
The heritage of the Citroën garage at the Yzerplein Brussels contains an architecture that refers to a glorious and modern industrial past, in which light, space orientation and monumentality are key. The buildings form an icon for the district and the city, even in a contemporary context this place is strongly determined by these buildings' identity. Even though the buildings practically occupy the entire block as a coherent whole, it seems to divide itself visually and functionally into two parts; on the one hand, the showroom located at the Yzerplein and in addition, the workshop situated at the rear side. The central nave acts as a physical connection between the two parts. Just like in many cities, the industry is increasingly disappearing from the cityscape, where their only heritage is found in the abandoned and dilapidated buildings they've left behind. The proposal for the Kanal site contains private residences in the former showroom and a collective hub for start-ups in the former workshop. These two functions are connected by public spaces that flow in between, under and on top of the existing buildings. Creating opportunities for urban life all around is a fundamental starting point in order to elevate the value of this ensemble.
Photography by Sami Bouchafrati