Cavell Court, the hospital site transformed into a mixed-use urban complex
Cavell Court is the transformation of a historical & symbolic hospital site (Edith Cavell Hospital in Uccle) into a mixed urban complex.
|program||transformation & reconstruction of the former Clinique Edith Cavell, which has now relocated to the "Chirec Delta" site in Auderghem, into a complex combining residential buildings and businesses|
|client||Cavell Project (AG real estate and Burco)|
|address||rue Edith Cavell & rue Marie Depage, Uccle (Brussels)|
|building type||entertain • live|
|expertises||architecturelandscape designinterior architectureproject managementconstruction managementfeasibility studiesprogramming|
|team||• contractor: Cit.E.Blaton|
• structural engineer: bureau d’études Greisch
• special technologies engineer, epb: CES
• acoustical office: Venac
• control: Seco
• surveyor: HVS & partenaires
• health & safety coordinator: PS2
Built in 1915, the hospital has undergone several phases of development, with the successive construction of 5 buildings in the heart of a residential and commercial urban area.
At the beginning of the 1970s, as a result of major urban densification, the hospital reached the limits of its horizontal extension. The only option for developing its infrastructure was a vertical expansion, marked by the construction of a 12-storey tower and the transformation of the basement car parks into operating theatres.
At the beginning of the 2000 decade, the impact of the institution on the surrounding urban fabric, the difficulties of accessibility and parking, added to the new needs for expansion, finally imposed the abandonment of the historical site in favour of a new entity (CHIREC Delta) constructed opposite the ULB campus in Auderghem.
architecture & planning
Acquired by the developers Burco and AG Real Estate, the 23.000 m² space of the historic site was then the subject of a study for reallocation and upgrade, with the construction of a mixed urban complex in response to the question: how to transform 23.000 m² of exclusively hospital functions into quality residential buildings?
The planning and architectural approach selected had two major objectives:
- to reconstitute the plot fabric of the immediate urban environment. The five buildings of the original site were thus reconditioned in the image of the neighbouring mansions. The use of noble materials – including natural stone – personalizes each building while visually combining them all to blend into the surrounding fabric;
- to re-green and rehabilitate the interior of the block (2.000 m²) which had been degraded by storage and warehousing. Now a vast shared garden, it creates a living environment in keeping with the nature of the neighbourhood.
At the same time, the red brick building (rue Depage) was demolished and replaced by a six-storey residential building, whose top storey is set back.
an “upmarket” emergence
The old tower was dismantled and hollowed out of its base in order to reduce its thickness. Following this intervention, it now offers naturally lit living spaces and at the same time constitutes the emergence and the main axis of Cavell Court. Its 12 floors have been restructured into high quality apartments with terraces and 3m high ceilings.
A reminder of the site’s past use as a hospital, a polyclinic (2,000 m² on 4 levels) is maintained on the site. Its general interest activity contributes to the mix of the complex.
Cavell Court thus develops 19.000 m² of above-ground surface area, including 145 residential and access units. The programme therefore maintains a functional mix of shops (1.000 m²), housing, a garden, and a polyclinic in the heart of Uccle.
a privileged quality of life
A vast shared garden of some 2.000 m² has been laid out in the interior of the block for the enjoyment of the future inhabitants of Cavell Court. The project aims to create a high-quality living environment inspired by this well-known neighbourhood in the municipality of Uccle in the south of Brussels.
The division into independent buildings with small condominiums, as well as the variety of configurations and typologies of the apartments located around the landscaped garden are some of the aspects that contribute to the high quality of life of the location. In addition to the creation of the large ornamental garden, the installation of green roofs also considerably increases the rainwater absorption capacity of the complex.
• building A: 16 apartments & 1 shop (222 m²)
• building B: 72 apartments & 4 shops (751 m²)
• building C: 17 apartments
• building D: 16 apartments
• building E : 15 apartments
the project’s assets
- privileged location
- generous ceiling height (3m)
- interior of the block laid out as a quality green space with a water mirror
energy performance & certification
• coefficients : 44 kwh/m²/year
ground floor Floor plan, level +3
plan showing identification of the 5 buildings: A B C D E
typical floor plan, building D variant