An Ensemble Enhanced by Nuanced Colour and Indirect Uniformity
The architectural teams of META, advvt, NOA and OFFICE present a building block that possesses an indirect but recognizable uniformity, yet does not forsake its own strong identity.
Each office designed a building for the KAAI37 block. The project is the result of an intense collaboration between the four offices. A series of common principles was established and honoured, including the decision to use a glazed or reflective finish for the exterior and an agreement about how the façade grid would be organised.
KAAI 37 is the first passive group housing project to be certified by Pixii.
The architectural teams of META, advvt, NOA and OFFICE present a building block that possesses an indirect but recognizable uniformity, yet does not forsake its own strong identity. KAAI 37 is the first passive group housing project to be certified by Pixii.
META architectuurbureau, architecten de vylder vinck taillieu, noAarchitecten and OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen have each designed a building for the KAAI 37 block in the Cadix district of Het Eilandje in Antwerp. Together with PROJECT², the four offices won the design competition formulated for the block by AG Vespa.
POLO Architects, PULS architects, Vermeiren - De Coster Architects & cuypers & Q architects each designed a building for the northern part. A shared courtyard forms the green heart of the block.
The south complex consists of 4 buildings with a total surface area of 8,500 m² that group 72 apartments and duplex apartments, 5 houses and 4 commercial units around a courtyard.
Colour Nuances and Mineral Materials Reveal a Unified Whole
The context, position and visibility of the ensemble required a specific approach to the materiality of the façade. The underlying grid, which is tailored to the warehouses in the district, creates an indirect uniformity. Mineral materials with subtle colour nuances enhance the idea of the ensemble. For example, the glass façade cladding, prefabricated concrete elements and glazed tiles were all elaborated in shades of green. This colour was even extended to the masonry work on the façade.
Certified Passive Group Housing Project
KAAI 37 is the first passive group housing project to be certified. Not only were the energy requirements of the building taken into account, but also the correlation between its needs and the supply of energy from renewable sources. This analysis occurred at all levels.
A Large Plant-filled Courtyard With and Private Areas
Great attention was paid to the integration of terraces and balconies. The exteriors of the buildings have a refined and static appearance. On the inside, the emphasis was placed upon the creation of a pleasurable plant-filled courtyard. This was carefully divided into private and communal outdoor areas.
An Ambitious Collaboration
The project is the result of an intensive collaboration between the four offices. A series of common principles was established and honoured, including the decision to use a glazed or reflective finish for the exterior and an agreement about how the façade grid would be organised. Moreover, the team consulted the designers of the north building block and agreed that West 8 could design the entire courtyard.
Unique in the Port District
With its rectangular street pattern and exceptional location on the peninsula, the former harbour district is a unique site within Antwerp’s urban fabric. With KAAI 37, the historic evolution of the building block pattern within Het Eilandje is completed.
META opted for a Passive Building With an Exoskeleton:
META opted to use a concrete outer structure, or exoskeleton, for its building. The finished exterior is composed of grey-green, prefabricated concrete façade frames that also form the supporting structure of the building. The specific profiling of these frames makes it possible to position the floor plates in a thermally interrupted manner.
This building method not only ensures maximum flexibility for the interior layout, but also proves to be very quick and efficient in execution. It is a more intensive version of META’s core tenet that ‘structural work is finishing work’.
META is the first office to succeed in meeting passive standards with an exoskeleton. In addition to this building, META also designed the underground car park and took responsibility for the on-site coordination of the project.
Sunny Appartments, a Game of Light
architecten de vylder vinck taillieu
A façade in white stone. Sometimes matte. At other times glossy. And green grouting. Fresh. But at the same time, like a drawing. And not just because of the coloured joins, but also because of the lintels. If the façade is a dressing, then the lintels are a stack of bricks.
A tight matrix of windows. Then full windows again. And then windows with a semi-blind niche. The tight matrix continues until the last building layer, which has a deeper recess. Yet still the matrix continues. In the incline of the parapet. And in the half windows on the façade.
Sunny apartments ensure that day-to-day life is shaped by the city and the courtyard. The sun does not just play across the façade, with its glossy and matte surfaces. It also plays through space. From front to back.
A Private Place in the City
The corner building by noAarchitecten responds to an extremely heterogeneous housing programme that ranges from duplex houses to one-room studios and penthouse apartments. noAarchitecten translated and strengthened this diversity by varying the arrangement of windows on the façade.
The dark green façade is covered with glazed Portuguese tiles with thin but distinct joins. These lend a strong visibility to the building and create a tension between the apparent randomness of the window composition and the underlying tile grid. The corner building seeks out the borders of the grid principle in the warehouse façade. The diversity is readable, and the angle is emphasized by the distribution of the façade openings.
Each house has an individual winter garden with folding windows. This can be used as a covered outdoor space in the summer but, thanks to its position within the insulated thermal skin of the building, can also be used as an extra room in the winter. As a result, these spaces increase the overall compactness of the building and allow residents to enjoy the changing seasons in all their glory. A place is made in the city.
Proportions, Materiality and Colour Play a Leading Role
OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen
The building by OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen is an exercise in simplicity, one that is based upon carefully considered proportions, materiality and colour. As a whole, the building combines the spaciousness of the warehouse typology with elements drawn from classic city apartments, such as generous window openings that run to floor level and double doors between the rooms.
The façade, which is clad in glass panels with a light green coating on the reverse, subtly reflects the open environment and thus provides a counterweight to the surface of the water. Protruding balconies of different sizes interrupt the rigorously structured rhythm of the window openings and face towards the quay.