Studio Associato Bernardo Secchi Paola Viganò

Architecture | Urbanism | Landscape

'Contact Strip' in Hoge Rielen, Kasterlee - international competition
[first prize]


client: Flemish Government, AFM
program: hostel (76 beds), public space
date: 2007- prssent
consultant: Dirk Jaspaert, Mark De Kooning (BAS), Dries Beys (ARA), Bruno Depré (IRS)


photography: Frederik Buyckx

The competition to design the first part of the 'Contact Strip’ is an important step in the implementation of the Hoge Rielen Master Plan. In Hoge Rielen, the Contact Strip is considered a major public space.
Along the main road, all public facilities are located. People occupy this area to meet or simply to pass through. The main intention of the master plan was to give some thickness to that line, where could be possible to organize occasional events, green spaces and water points; and to allocate amenities and main public buildings along it. But more than a physical act, the 'Contact Strip is the idea of an extended centrality that works as a guide for future changes that the emerging programs of the leisure center could bring.
Today, several years after the completion of the master plan, The programs of the first part of the 'Contact Strip' have slightly changed since the establishment of the master plan. When we introduced the study projects on the site - the hotel at the north edge of the pond, the transformation of the pavilion nr 4 into a multifunctional space in the south and finally, the open space between the reception and the cafeteria, the 'Contact Strip' was considered enriched by this new spaces and facilities that are transversal to the main direction of the existing public sequence. This new spatial condition and the role of the 'Contact Strip' are reinforced by its connection to the cross-links, which are also linked to another crossing, forming a thick, clear mesh.
One of these new time project events is Hostel Wadi. By its circular shape it creates a central interior space, a naturalness circumscribed and contained and where the atmosphere is different from the rest of the park. This device allows to establish a special relationship between the users and the hostel itself. Actually even if the rooms are open to the outside (towards the park), they are serviced by an internal corridor on the outskirts of this central space, that it is separated only by large continuous berries leaving the enjoyment of the views to this last. The interior is a green microcosms that also function as a Wadi collecting rainwater from the building.


Relevant textual alternative to the image

studio 07

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