K2A: Previously, the Saint-Remy Park perfectly illustrated the social ineptitude that can arise when a public space is poorly adapted to a sensitive neighbourhood. In this particular case, the park was once surrounded by a sinister metallic fence, and the space was dictated by a severe geometric composition with a rundown soccer field. Within the boundaries of the fence, the space was reigned by various small groups of youngsters demonstrating a riotous attitude; neighbours would fearfully avoid the park.
A competition was organised to transform the space. K2A wanted to propose a project where the inhabitants were implicated in the thought process of what the space was and how it could be transformed. The office proposed 5 axis of reflexion:
Urban Carpet: Most of the park is covered with a mosaic of 3 different coloured cement blocks. This “carpet” was stretched to the various perimeters of the park, following the natural topography. It thus offered a cheap, sustainable solution that perfectly seamed all the spaces together.
Bumps, landscape & games: the newly formed urban landscape, offered zones, pockets, and organic spaces that various types of users could easily and freely appropriate: a pedestrian, a skater, a young cyclist…
Limits: K2A convinced city authorities to give a positive image of the park by removing the metallic fence. They believed that by making the park more open and accessible, neighbours would feel safer which would encourage them to spontaneously inhabit the space.
Vegetation: the “urban carpet” is also colonised by a few pockets of natural vegetation. These pockets help to filter the water during strong rain downpours and offers welcoming shade to the occupants on hot sunny days.
Multi-sport terrain: the jewel of the crown is the multi-sport terrain which is an open and convivial social instigator, which also perfectly complements the need for simple and free urban activities.
The forms and materials used are relatively banal but it is believed that their implementation offers a unique and positive identity to this specific context. The park has become a very dynamic and friendly place which welcomes neighbouring people, regardless of their age or culture.
Program Revitalisation of the Parc Saint Rémy and its surroundings behind the church
Status Built Competition
Client Administration Communale de Molenbeek-Saint-Jean
Budget +/- 430 000 € HTVA
Size +/- 3000m²
K2A Team Kervyn – Alegria – Hug
Execution Architect Atelier Ruimtelijk Advies
Duration 2012 to 2015
General Contractor Verbruggen bvba