Regency Gardens

Reconversion monument with new-build homes

Archi­tecture Interior design

Wood constructions City life Reconversion and renovation

The REGENCY residential complex focuses on the conversion of existing buildings and sustainable new construction. The project takes the existing monument, a building that is protected as a city view and the history of the site as a guideline for the design of a contemporary green inner-city residential area. A modest 'city palace' with a 'cour et jardin' with 23 residential apartments and three 'Nearly Energy Neutral (BEN)' homes is the task.

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The building block is located on Keizerstraat in the historic center of the city of Antwerp. The site includes a former hotel complex of three adjacent buildings, one of which is a monument, Mansion 'Den Joseph naer Egypten', and an alley (the Mazengang) that connects to the parallel Prinsstraat. The complex dates back to two sixteenth-century cores that were converted in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century into a city palace with courtyard, gallery, stables and garden.

A series of strategic choices to turn the dense, unattractive building block into a pleasant place to live are essential. This includes restoring the monument to its original form, removing old, non-reusable extensions, demolishing it and replacing it with new construction, and matching the historic buildings through a careful choice of materials. In addition, all homes will be oriented towards the new inner garden, so that living can escape the busier street environment. The interior of the houses is characterized by the stately spaces, lots of natural light and views of both the city and the inner garden.

The whimsical context provided and the design choices lead to a varied mix of homes and apartments with underground parking for twelve cars spread over two floors.

The former parking lot behind the monument will be pitted and will make way for three ground-bound solid wood construction homes and a garden. The new buildings are characterized by elongated white bricks and white structured joinery. The inventoried building will be completely renovated while preserving the facade. This property will be given a number of new housing typologies, such as front and back house, kangaroo house, ...

In order to respect the freed up space, the connection between the monument and the new building is realized via a light steel structure. This steel structure solves the difference in level between the two buildings and contains the spacious terraces in front of the apartments. The transparency between the monument and the new building is guaranteed by realizing the structure in white steel, glass and metal mesh.

A number of new details emphasize the coherence of the building complex. For example, all new materials will be white, supplemented by 'green' gates in the front facade. These gates give access to the project through the courtyard, the underground garage and the alley. The color green is in line with the 17th century period and the paint traces found in the monument.

Location : Antwerp
Area : 3.100 m²
Date : 2021 - on site
Client : P.World
Team : Atlas, Raco, Patine, Bureau de Fonseca
Photography : VIVA Architecture, Gabari

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