Common Territory (2017) Urban Design Proposal, Architecture Master Design Studio: ‘City-park. Living at the Edge of the Hoge Kempen National Park’

After an investigation on the urban planning debate of Limburg, relating to issues of the Belgian urban sprawl, several observations where made in relation to the use of space and property in the Garden City settlement of Maasmechelen. We can see the settlement changing into a densely privatized environment, minimizing a green and spacious environment and affecting as well the ‘social interactions’ that were theoretically included in the original design of the Garden City.

Common spaces and spaces to interact with one another seem to be downsized to a minimum. Next to the complex assignment to densify - finding living space for newcomers into Limburg, the proposed project seeks to activate this interaction again, by searching for a common territory.

By mapping the leftover spaces (I.) next to old sheds, a new common space is defined, that potentiolly exists within many clusters of housing in the garden city (II.) The old sheds, that are often decaying, are replaced with a more durable but simple (wooden) construction that can contain both the function of the old shed and an inhabitable space (III.). Because of the design of the new units, and the careful placement of them, the possibility is created to rent out the upper (or under) space without loosing all privacy. The active space of the shed can now open up towards the common territory (IV.).

This project was part of ‘City-park. Living at the Edge of the Hoge Kempen National Park’, design studio by Martino Tattara at the International Master of Architecture, KU Leuven, Brussels.