Sandrine Peulen

Sandrine Peulen

Corpus Vallis. UHasselt (Belgium)

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Farms are disappearing, shops and pubs are closing and the linear building expansion is growing. People say ‘the village is changing’, when the older generation is reacting nostalgic by saying everything was better in the past. The same applies to the surrounding landscape around the village, where different processes are advancing spatial transformations. Each of them have their influence on the village identity and structure, however a focused future vision for both the village and the surrounding landscape is often missing.
In this masterproject the evolution of landscape and village are integrated and integrally linked to each other to become this focused vision. This is specific applied to the village Hees, a submunicipality of Bilzen and situated in the region of Droog-Haspengouw. In this surrounding, it is remarkable that the landscape around the village in high grades is scraped because of the high level of agricultural activities. On the other hand landscape elements in the inner zone have got the chance to develop, but this area is poorly accessible and also intended as a residential expansion area. A reinterpretation of this structure leads to an infill model instead of an expansion method, to preserve the qualities of this inner zone. By imbedding on the development of the open parcels on the edge, new connections can be made with the village structure. Residential development on the open plots and community facilities at the level of the currently underused church site indicate this development vision. The structure of the current church has functioned as an important inspiration for the concept elaboration of both landscape and facilities. Community services, contemplative and ceremonial spaces, a green area and burial facilities seem to flow into each other effortlessly, with respect for structure and scale of the village.

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