New Logistics Center Brussels
The competition brief was to design a new logistics centre for the port of Brussels. Considering the preceding inconsistent, hectic and heavily protested attempts at developing the site however, we decided to focus on creating a new dialogue between the harbour, surrounding neighbourhood and city.
To satisfy all parties, we figured it is key to overlay the necessary functions and maintain a minimal footprint.
We start by eliminating all ad hoc extensions and revitalizing the interesting buildings that accentuate the intrinsic qualities of the site, such as the old train station and warehouse from the 1958 World Expo. We then add the necessary new: a concentrated multi-modal automated storage facility (80×80 meter cube) with the “attic of Brussels” on top. For the neighbourhood, a much-needed decompression zone (a public park) is left. This park is the binding tissue between the existing open space, the canal and the neighbourhood. Within this ever-changing cityscape, the logistics centre functions as a new landmark. From the existing elevated road, which wraps around the logistic cube, one has a panoramic view of the public activities and sports fields in the park.
The 3 levels inside the black box each have a distinct storing method. By connecting the levels with vertical shafts, we eliminate the need for long horizontal covers – the most energy and speed-efficient configuration.
The “attic of Brussels” is the city’s first open-air swimming pool. Thus, instead of being an obstruction, the logistic centre connects the locals with an unknown urban space and potentially helps revitalize the identity of the area.
The old train station becomes the new entrance to the rooftop pool.