The Asse “land-form” concept was invented to open the project on one edge of a much larger site, and thus preserve existing landscape features and allow for future expansion. The land-form is characteristic of ORG’s interest to address larger urban questions with singular architectural interventions.
The site was formerly used in the asphalt production industry, located on the outer edge of the Town Center. Beyond the ring road the landscape is open and rural. The land form is scaled appropriately to the landscape and organizes all new buildings – youth center, public square, and fire station – into one communal shape. As a singular and bounded entity, the form does not suggest sprawling growth in any direction, but rather offers a clear vision for future landscape, infrastructure, and building decisions.
A subtle bend in the landform and building denotes the principal entrance to the site. A clear solution had to be found for addressing the public functions given the multiple buildings (such as: where is the front door?). As opposed to a strip of buildings with a parking lot to serve as the main orienting device, a public plaza between the youth center and the fire station serves as a formal front. Custom pavements, markings, road obstacles, street furniture, lighting, local trees and plant species, and a smooth topographic contour break down the scale of this large universally accessible plane.
It is within the public plaza where a fundamental ideological basis for the project is confirmed. Upon entering the plaza: the site, form, and scale akin to a “Big-Box” setting is designed to create a civic environment. The plaza acts as a town square, gathering and distributing the many building users: pedestrians, cyclists, cars, busses, emergency vehicles, and fire trucks. Both the fire officers and youth center have staged public events and festivals in the square.
Location Asse, Belgium
Client Town of Asse, Belgium
Year 2009 — 2014
Program mixed, public, landscape, infrastructure, educational
Team Luk Peeters, Alexander D’Hooghe, Sanne Peeters, Natalie Seys, John T. Pugh, Michiel De Potter, Felix Lauffer, Nida Rehman