Laureate: WIT architecten bv-bvba
The study and design assignment for the execution of a structural sketch for the residential area of Heverlee and the drawing up of a master plan at two locations in the area between Sint-Lambertusplein and Cardinal Mercierlaan in Leuven was awarded to WIT architecten.
The assignment is located in the central part of Heverlee, a suburb of Leuven, south of the medieval city centre. Due to the presence of various infrastructures, Heverlee consists of a patchwork of neighbourhoods, each with its own dynamics. The vision of the site contains the elements needed to connect all these places and should translate the ambitions of the city in terms of its further development into a spatial programme and design.
The proposal by WIT architecten, together with RUA (Research Urbanism & Architecture, KULeuven), Ndvr (Endeavour) and VECTRIS, is based on a strong and critical diagnosis of the residential core of Heverlee. This leads to a clear analysis with a level of ambition that goes beyond the principles set out in the project definition. The design team makes clever use of the available information to put forward a number of scenarios. This 'scenario thinking' offers flexibility with regard to further elaboration and room for input from the participation process.
This flexible and phased approach is also reflected in the master plan for the area at the town hall. The designers see the residential core as an 'upper balcony', a new 'intermediate platform' in the embankment as a landscape transition and pivotal point on the Kardinaal Mercierlaan, and the OHL site as a 'lower axis'. The ambitious master plan for the OHL site aims to maximise the removal of the existing pavement and the return of the space to the Dijle Valley. For both areas, strong and clear scenarios are always provided to illustrate these principles spatially.
The jury appreciates the design team's own and valuable vision on sustainability and its thorough approach. The landscape in all its aspects is recognised as the foundation for future design choices. The development of strategic concepts and concrete steps to make a mobility transition possible also testifies to the attention paid to sustainability. The plan can remain relevant over time, amidst ever-changing programmes, actors and urgencies at local and supra-local level.
All-inclusive design assignment for drawing up a structural outline for the residential core of Heverlee and drawing up a master-plan for two locations in the area between Sint-Lambertusplein and Kardinaal Mercierlaan and surroundings