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City life in the woods

Landscape design for a mixed-use building

Situated in a wooded area shaped by rivers and creeks lies ‘Autumn Joy’, a former retirement home which will be transformed into a mixed-use building. It is located near the city centre of Genk and surrounded by large trees that provide a peaceful ambiance. The landscape design plays into these forest features and enhances the relationship between the building and the woods.

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The existing structure of the building is reused, opening up new possibilities for co-working spaces and a variation of apartments that appeal to a diverse set of residents. All apartments have their own balcony, which can be turned into a winter garden with a foldable glass door. Residents can also make use of the semi-private garden with play facilities around the building or the collective roof garden, which is set up as an urban farm and can be used to harvest vegetables and herbs.

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The ecological landscape design makes use of the rules and dynamics of the forest. These serve as guidelines to integrate and combine various strategies: sustainability, water storage, reuse, planting, climate and health. The landscape reconnects Autumn Joy with its natural environment and fully makes it a part of the forest. It is the first development in a series of forest rooms between the city centre of Genk and the local school campus. This wooded area will be enriched with a structure of compact landscape rooms, in which several new residential areas are fitted carefully amongst nature.

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Year

2019

Location

Genk, Belgium

Type

Landscape

Client

SOM Project
Bremco Haex

Size

1 ha

Team & partners

Michiel Van Driessche
Marnix Vink
Deborah Lambert
John de Groot
Eduardo Marin Salinas
Ilva Mishtaku
Elan Redekop van der Meulen
Thyra Bakker
Binst Architects
Arcadis

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