Little Willy is the name of a multifunctional complex combining a bed and breakfast, a penthouse, a shop and a restaurant. Special about this project is the dialogue between the old and new, located on a small corner plot. However Little Willy is more than just a striking corner building: it is part of the urban renewal that is going on for some years in the Brussels Dansaert district.
The design is started from the difficulty to develop a small rest space on a corner in the middle of the Dansaert area, and connect it with an existing, historically interesting house. LOW architecten proposed a volume that slowly grows over the adjacent house. On some places incisions were made in favor of large outdoor spaces. This terraces structure guarantees a rescaling of the volume and stimulates interaction with public space.
CITY IN THE CITY
Different housing units are stacked one on top of the other, where every unit still has its own private green space or terrace. Together with the public functions on the ground floor – which include a shop, a gallery and a restaurant with large terrace – city life is present in this complex.
DIFFERENT BUT TOGETHER
The project is twofold: It provides for the total renovation of the whitewashed house on the one hand and extending it with the black concrete volume on the adjacent plot on the other hand. This two distinct volumes are visually different on the outside, but inside they are connected by the functions they house.
The concept of preservation and revitalization of the existing heritage, combined with an innovative construction results in a striking, iconic whole with a positive image to the public space. In this sense it could be called a socially sustainable project.