UNStudio designs mixed use plaza at ‘le toison d’or’ in brussels
image © bloom-images
all images courtesy of UNStudio





at the edge of brussels old city center, between the intersections of riddersstraat and lakenweverstraat along ‘le toison d’or’, a city block is being transformed into a major retail and residential complex designed by UNStudio. the new construction maintains the rhythm of the previously existing edifices with a uniform facade interrupted by tripartite vertical elements. these details double as connectors between the two programs, and allow access to residences at the commercial level. the v-shaped figures also cause the apartments to appear to float above the street, leaving the space beneath the plinth-like transom available for the glass-enclosed department store’s transparent public facade.

UNStudio designs mixed use plaza at le toison d'or in brussels
leaving room for light, air and shared green space, terraced residences only occupy the site’s edge
image © bloom-images





the 13,000 square meter ground floor will provide a commercial anchor in the community. above, 84 apartments are built around the perimeter of the site, allowing ample light and air for each unit. the terraced units leave a large opening, such that the residents have access to communal outdoor spaces in addition to their own private balconies. a single-story volume incorporating nurseries for up to 78 children, divides the courtyard into two levels connected by a long staircase. beside the green rooves, the project employs several sustainable features such as triple pane glass windows and a biofuel-burning heating system. accommodating transportation needs, 320 parking spaces will be provided in an existing underground garage.

UNStudio designs mixed use plaza at le toison d'or in brussels
inside ‘le toison d’or’
image © bloom-images


UNStudio designs mixed use plaza at le toison d'or in brussels
strong verticals recall the previous building facades, while connecting the  residential and retail sectors of the building
image © bloom-images


UNStudio designs mixed use plaza at le toison d'or in brussels



project info:


client: TD IMMO invest bvba p/a prowinko
location: brussels, belgium
building surface: 46,000 m²
building site: 5.802 m²
programme: mixed use high end retail, housing and parking
status: planning permissions
architect: UNstudio: ben van berkel, caroline bos, gerard loozekoot with wesley lanckriet and hans kooij, tatjana gorbachewskaja, tina kortmann, jaap-willem kleijwegt, tomas mokry, marie prunault, thomas harms, rene wysk, nanang santoso, philipp meise, patrik noome, todd ebeltoft
local architect: m. & j-m. jaspers-j. eyers & partners
structural advisor: abcis – van wetter ingenieurs-conseils
technical advisor: techniplan adviseurs bv.
building physics and BREEAM advisor/consultants: dGmR
visualisation: bloom-images, germany