Blue Boulevard

Hasselt/ Belgium

Area/ 41,000 m² potentially in the first phase/ 10,000-15,000 m² in later stages
Competition/ Developer inquiry 2014
Status/ Proposed Masterplan
Client/ Kumpen Red, Steps Real Estate
Local Architect/ ELD Partnership
Engineer/ ELD Partnership

Blue Boulevard is the conversion of a former industrial district in the city of Hasselt, Belgium. The design takes into account the neighborhood's history and character with a few new features like housing, office, and mixed use areas. With the new masterplan, we wish not only to establish a new urban housing quarter in Hasselt but also to emphasize and strengthen the existing qualities of the site. A masterplan which could become a natural implementation and answer to the goals and urban strategies set out by the city.

The site of Blue Boulevard, closely connected to the inner city of Hasselt, is a former industrial area situated on the eastern side of the Kanaalkom which in recent years has been transformed into new housing areas.

The 67.000 m² masterplan is split into three significant areas, each of them introducing new qualities to both the existing site and its surroundings: the first area named The Blue Village addresses the Kanaalkom and the new developments along the promenade; the second area The Green Link is the public green strip connecting the city center with Demer park; and the third area named The Park Houses which addresses the existing scale and density of the housing along the Kempische Steenweg.e city of Hasselt.

The warehouse typology facing the Kanaalkom has commercial program placed on the lower floors. On the upper floors, we can find a mix of 3 bedroom and penthouse apartments.

A new promenade in between the two warehouses is proposed as a stepped recreational landscape element connecting the lower and the higher level of the area, reaching into the water along the Kanaalkom.

In the courtyard housing typology, we find such as studios, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, with privacy towards the courtyards and proximity to the surrounding green belt.

The public pedestrian path has a green side facing the Park House area and a part green and blue side facing the green belt surrounding the Blue Village. Sustainable elements such as surface water treatment and biodiversity are implemented in the landscape of the park to emphasize the green agenda for the area.

The Park Houses are family houses and villa apartment typology in units of 3 floors. The units are east-west orientated. The 5-floor high buildings in the area along Kempische Steenweg are located as small communal mini-towers where smaller apartments and small commercial and social functions could be placed.

By reusing the most significant part of the existing malt tower and by keeping the surrounding houses at a maximum of 6 floors, our proposed tower is transformed into a historic sculpture standing out as the most important piece in the area.

One of the sustainable implementations on the site could be to place a local heating plant within the masterplan area. A plant big enough to serve the area and its nearest neighbours improving the overall CO2 consumption, lowering expenditures on energy and introducing a new way of fulfilling the green agenda set by the city of Hasselt.

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