Kessel is a small village that hangs from a road. On its north side, some attempts to bring a garden city model resolved into a duplication of the main road, the ‘nieuwstraat’, shutting away building blocks from their natural surroundings. To the south, a different approach is taking place to preserve the forest along the Lindekens brook. With the transformation of the village’s school and the care home centre, this area will become Kessel’s new development model. The project consists of new care home facilities, hosting 120 residents, daycare activities, and a large restaurant intended to provide 500 meals a day. The design takes seriously the assignment to open up the buildings to the landscape while doubling its capacity compared to the former building. The new project brings together the different assets of the site; the village, the valley, the new school and the park; with a central open space, performing at once as an access to the park, a public square for the village and the outdoor connection between facilities.

The three new buildings, organised around the central area, openly cascade to the south, directing movement from the village to the forest. In the middle, the daycare centre performs as a ‘villa’, a visible and recognisable house facing the square with a restaurant on its ground floor. The residential buildings, meticulously studied as rich aggregated units, bring intimate spaces for meeting while remaining open and well-connected. A pitched-roof construction, with individual large bay windows and an awning for solar protection, grants residents the feeling of autonomy and being at home they deserve.

Competition 2021 - 2nd
9000 m2
Kessel, Belgium
In collaboration with Jorge Vidal Studio
Team: Guillem Pons, Beatriz Agostinho, Stijn Baets, Robbe Van Der Mynsbrugge