This replacement construction transformed an outdated, monolithic and closed nursing home into an open living space. Through well thought-out master planning, before the new home, a new city square was created with a pocket park, and combined with a spacious terrace for the residents. The ground floor houses social and public services, while in the living spaces above street level the residents look onto the city through floor-to-ceiling windows.
- Public Social Welfare Center Leuven
- bureau voor architectuur & planning
- 180 beds
- 15180 m²
VK's masterplan optimised the connection of the senior care facility with its surroundings on several levels.
The nursing home being located in the centre of Leuven, it used to be completely enclosed. The closed rows of façades of the surrounding buildings hid the city park nearby. Additionally, not a single rest area existed: all functions were located directly on the street. Because a street cuts through the care site, the blocks of buildings do make way for a few public spots. The masterplan of VK optimised the connection of the facility with its surroundings.
First a square was created where the site is transected. Various community functions, a bus stop and access to a parking area create access to the site. A mix of living, working, recreation and services around the square and the residential care site contribute to this. The open space also increases the visibility of the facility. At the same time, the former enclosed high-rise structure of the residential care centre was replaced by an open and integrated low-rise structure.
The existing courtyard garden was replaced by an open square and a park. Together with the other green areas, the space varies from private to semi-private to public: from garden to park to square. The transition between these various spaces was created via open views and connections. This creates cohesion among the various components without any compromise of the character of individual elements.
The realisation of this masterplan was also in the hands of VK, in collaboration with Bureau Architectuur en Planning.
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