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  • Location: Lanaken, Belgium
  • Program: Residential
  • Area: 7.486 m²
  • Year: 2018 –
  • Status: In progress

The Kiezelparking project aims to revitalize the Molenweidestraat area in Lanaken by creating an inviting and vibrant living environment. This plan seeks to attract residents through innovative architectural designs and modern living spaces, breaking away from the conventional, outdated apartment blocks that currently dominate the region between Stationsstraat and Molenweideplein. The area suffers from high vacancy rates in retail spaces, and the current setup fails to meet contemporary expectations for shopping and living standards.

The developers propose constructing quality apartments with varied sizes, featuring spacious terraces and integrated green spaces to appeal to a younger demographic and inject life into the city. The architectural vision is one of harmony and distinctiveness, providing the locale, currently a nondescript gravel parking lot, with an identity and environmental value. The proposal includes a green façade of tall grasses, which enhances the privacy and aesthetic appeal of the street-level apartments.

Challenging existing regulations, the project suggests a ground floor ceiling height of 3.1 meters, higher than what is currently prescribed by the BPA Molenweidestraat. This alteration is deemed crucial for the project’s flexibility, potentially accommodating commercial use in the future. Emphasizing sustainability, the project incorporates balcony gardens that help cool the building and reduce pollution. These green areas will be maintained under contract, ensuring their longevity and that they continue to define the building’s character.

The building design includes a dynamic façade structure with integrated frames for glass and insulation, as well as aluminum fins for terrace privacy. The communal spirit is further fostered through a publicly accessible inner courtyard, encouraging interaction and serving as a green oasis with ample bike storage. To balance accessibility and security, gates will be installed to close off the area at night.

Inside, the apartments reflect the external architectural quality, with most featuring dual-sided terraces to enhance natural light. The open-plan concept allows for fluidity within the living spaces, making the terraces an extension of the living area. Every apartment is designed to high-quality standards, with careful planning and selection of superior materials and finishes.

The project includes a collective bicycle shed in the courtyard, emphasizing its commitment to sustainability. It comprises 40 apartments, each with an associated private parking space, and an additional 3 spaces allocated for visitors in the public domain. There is also anticipation for the future development of an adjoining plot, currently undeveloped, which is expected to serve as a natural expansion of the project.

In essence, the Kiezelparking project is set to offer a new perspective on urban living in Lanaken by integrating modern living demands with cutting-edge architectural designs, community interaction, green spaces, and sustainability. The vision is to establish an engaging and adaptable city environment that can flourish and adapt over time.