Pieter-Jan Kosten

Pieter-Jan Kosten

Factory. UHasselt (Belgium)

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The closure of Ford Genk leaves a vast canvas behind. The scene of the former factory is unique in that it is characterized by complete infrastructural separation, forming an island of building types. Simultaneously however, the site is highly connected to regional infrastructures, allowing it to attract both local and regional public. To fully use its potential the site is divided into four zones: the wetlands, the gardens, the void and the forest. This new masterplan is the formation of a balance between program, landscape and natural resources.
An energy producing landscape is installed on the scene. Hydrogen producing algae are the spine of an urban strategy to bring back activity in a former industrial site. The culmination of the new landscape is the construction of a hydrogen-processing factory. Standard typologies like the box and the silo are turned upside down to create a new lifted typology. Bottom half of the factory consists of concrete frames that respond to the upper program. This hollow base can be reduced to a logistical plinth: empty containers enter, containers filled with hydrogen leave by truck, train or boat. The top half exists out of the elements that are needed to make the factory work. A collection tank, machine tower, research center and storage unit, each with their own structural logic, stand out.

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