Rode-Kruisplein Housing Mechelen
newly built appartements
The city of Mechelen is transforming the Keerdok and Eandis site near Rode-Kruisplein into a brand new first-class waterfront district with 800 homes. Besides the construction of a green mobility hub at the tip of the Eandis site, POLO Architects will also be in charge of the development of 54 apartments during the first phase.
The BUUR master plan will transform the former canalside area into a high-quality city district and a new gateway into the city. This housing project will set in motion the metamorphosis of an area on the periphery into a vibrant neighbourhood of Mechelen with respect for the existing heritage.
"The development of this site provides a perfect opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the city and the water and to reintegrate the Dijle river valley into the city." – Patrick Lootens, founding partner POLO Architects
The new housing block on Rode-Kruisplein will be the ‘Ouwen Dok’ hotel’s counterpart. Through its redevelopment, this former swimming pool complex and customs warehouse has been restored to its original grandeur. Both buildings will give character to the new Rode-Kruisplein.
The POLO Architects design takes the form of a serene and inviting urban structure showing humility in front of the Ouwen Dok hotel’s monumental character.
The square housing block opens itself towards the monument. In an embracing gesture, it paraphrases the volumetry of the former swimming pool/warehouse. The new project is a firm response, but also a mirror image of the historical complex.
Simultaneously, the housing block - enclosed on three sides - gets more character: a collective garden and private terraces with a maximum amount of sunlight and space. From the Rode-Kruisplein, the trees on the inner courtyard can be seen: continuity is created between the public square and the residents’ private space.
BELVEDERE WITH A VIEW
The commercial activity in the building base brings life to the square. On the side of the square, the base is closed in order to ensure privacy for the residents’ courtyard. On top of the base, where a part of the block is ‘cut out’, a raised communal terrace is created; a belvedere with a view on the ‘Ouwen Dok’ building. All apartments have a direct or oblique view on this historic building. The facade materials - like the housing block itself - are elegant, sustainable and austere.
The design employs the area’s three-pronged character - urban, green, industrial heritage - as a precious landscape quality that reinforces the site.
Kairos & Montreal
BAM & Montreal
winning competition design