JDS architects: keizer karel building proposals, ghent JDS architects: keizer karel building proposals, ghent
feb 15, 2013

JDS architects: keizer karel building proposals, ghent

‘keizer karel building proposal 2’ by JDS architects, ghent, belgium

all images courtesy of jds architects



a prominent street corner in ghent was reimagined into two iterations of luxurious apartment complexes by the conscientious designers at JDS architects. keizer karel street is a pedestrian-friendly area in a dense and quaint part of the busy municipality. both ideas were developed to contribute to the vibrant urban fabric of the historically rich, flemish region of belgium while maintaining contemporary architectonic amenities. the 60-80 units were composed for optimum amounts of natural light, city views and pockets of terraced greenery. one approach posits a corner-hugging mass that is parsed into alternating forms. the result is a prismatic structure, interjected by an open-air courtyard. the folded facade has glazed facets that are oriented toward the best possible sunlit angle and optimal city views. the bidirectional envelope walls create private terraces for every unit as well as separation from the neighbor’s lot. these habitable strata wrap around the large central green space and the overall structure contains an large roof garden so as to add further dynamism to the dematerialized mass. 



the building folds with the city fabric



angled exterior walls are oriented toward the sun



interior view out to the balcony



the folded strata free the corner in a layered way



almost every unit has an opportunity for green, sunlit terraces



stepped units wrap around a central void



the project is an endeavor of monumental greenery



floor plan with site context 



elevation 1



elevation 2



elevation 3






sun light and city view diagram



the massive form is dematerialized




 the radically different second approach offers three discrete towers to direct lines of sight and views around the city. the program, divided by the number of bedrooms per unit, is separated by tower, allowing for simultaneous consolidation and openness. the complex is flanked by two major streets that meet at the proposed entrance of the structure. the tower facing keizer karel street would further its overall sustainable methodology by attaching to the existing neighboring building, while the building on frans ackerman street would be setback from an house already on site so as to facilitate the opening of the southern facade. the slim forms are connected by a architectonic base that ribbons around a open-air light tower and is topped by greenery. all the buildings contain walkable roof gardens and have angled cuts on the top two floors. the sliced architecture also allows for ample southward-facing balconies that afford ideal city views.        



three towers jut through the trafficked corner



whole towers are straddled and moved toward the light



the sliced first four floors frees the building of the corner



interior view



the towers frame the existing urban landscape



remarkable expanses of greenery characterize the building



the sliced tops of the forms make habitable stepped planes



a view into the interstitial spaces



floor plan in context



elevation 1



elevation 2



elevation 3






program diagram



the built mass is subtracted and replaced with public spaces and gardens 

  • Unsettling contrast between proposed structure(s) and existing historical architectural context but continues the
    style of new buildings nearby. Old vs. New.

    rjdion says:
  • the first one looks like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitat_67
    I’d rent at both of them.

    Bedlamite23 says:
  • nice!!!!!

    Jennifer Zhang says:
  • The first concept it’s a new version of the habitat 67 at Montreal designed more than 40 years ago and stills an interesting concept.

    I like the one in Montreal better.. because it’s real!

    JMP says:

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