‘De Nieuwe Stad’ was built in 1972. Because land was scarce, high-rise was chosen, also so as to retain good quality green areas. ‘De Oostendse Haard’ and ‘De Gelukkige Haard’ acted in tandem as principal and now together want to replace the buildings. The surrounding districts consist mainly of low-rise: some flats, but chiefly single-family homes. These are of a later date.
The existing buildings are outdated and in urgent need of renovation or replacement. The experience of similar housing companies with this sort of building shows that the cost of renovation easily rises to 98% of the price of a new building, while structural deficiencies remain and the comfort does not sufficiently meet contemporary expectations (acoustic separation, thermal skin, type and arrangement of homes).
Following consultation with the Ostend ‘Stadsatelier’, the choice was to replace the buildings and redevelop the whole site. Since the present occupants like living there, this project provides a unique opportunity to cast high-rise social housing in a positive light once again, especially now that high-rise is again the subject of interest in the expensive and exclusive segment of the housing market. Apart from their fine view, the present flats are valued for their large windows and wide balconies, which make them light and spacious. The vertical access for each four homes means that the flats are oriented towards only one side, but this also makes them affordable.
Social housing companies must build more durably for the future. It is not sustainable to put up buildings that only last 45 years. For this reason a balance has to be sought and the present building budget used intelligently. After all, affordability of construction is somewhat at odds with affordable building management and a long lifespan. Research by design is needed to examine the standards regarding floor area for social housing, which are currently under review, but also energy performance requirements and how they can be met by means of a cost-saving low-tech approach.
The construction of the new buildings provides the opportunity to redesign the neighbourhood and improve the surroundings and comfort of the homes. We request a vision for the development of the green open space, for the active use of the ground level for activities of a collective nature or which underpin the neighbourhood, and also a vision for the support of sustainable mobility. Possible avenues include low-threshold commercial activities, municipal services and amenities.
The building programme is for a minimum of 400 social housing units (Types 1/2 and 2/3 flats) (the prognosis for Ostend by 2060 is that 45% of the population will be older than 60). The neighbourhood needs a youth club and a place for the ‘Samenlevingsopbouw’ community npo. Apart from good bicycle storage, places for 100 cars must be provided, some in the existing underground car park. The green open space is to be made attractive to people of all ages, with sports fields, playgrounds and quiet meeting-places.
In the context of their mission, the budget and the necessary possibility of building in phases, ‘De Oostendse Haard’ and ‘De Gelukkige Haard’ are aiming for nothing less than a pilot project, a ‘lighthouse’ project, in the field of pleasant and sustainable collective housing in the town of Ostend.
All-inclusive design assignment for buildings to replace the De Nieuwe Stad high-rise social housing district in Ostend
- BRUT, C.F. Møller
- Felixx, KRAS Architecten, MLA+ Architecture
- uapS Anne Mie Depuydt & Erik Van Daele
- Xaveer De Geyter Architectenbureau BVBA
Area Cardijnplein, Guldensporenlaan en E. Moysonplein
- Selection: 23 Nov 2017
CVBA De Oostendse Haard
CVBA De Gelukkige Haard
Design contest followed by a negotiated procedure without publication of a contract notice
External jury member
Estimated price €61.350.000 (excl. VAT) (excl. Fees)
Scaled fee based on VMSW model contract. (architecture in accordance with VMSW guidelines – scale 2006.1, stability and technical installations in accordance with VMSW guidelines – model contract type R1-2005)
€15.000 excl. VAT per candidate – 4 candidates