Elise Mullens

Elise Mullens

Social Dwelling in Fléron. ULG Liège (Belgium)

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Elise Mullens

The town of Fléron is no longer and will never be a countryside again. It’s a city in the making.

The project proposes a reflection on social housing and the program addresses the issue of intervention in existing building-this is the idea of a diagnosis through the project rather than blind adaptation. The reuse of the existing is then the starting point for writing the architectural project. The “irrelevance” will be transformed, densified by elevation, extension or restructuring.

The existing typology, is mostly present in the social housing estate. The existing is not questioned but deepened and reinforced, the load-bearing walls are preserved and give rhythm to the new densified dwellings. A new structure was added to accommodate a new floor, a passageway and terraces. On the north side, the corridor act like a spatial transition, a space that generates social ties. This passageway becomes the extension of the housing towards the semi-public space, a place for inter-neighbourhood relations, it reinforces the sense of community and belonging. The new housing unit is then energized sometimes by an animated corridor of its inhabitants, sometimes by the passage of visitors. On the south side, it seemed obvious to propose, for each apartment, an external space as an extension of the dwelling’s life.

Moreover, the levels are recomposed in order to multiply the types of housing by varying the offer. The new apartments attempt to promote diversity of households within the same unit and offer quality spaces in a limited number of square meters. In order to economize on resources and keep construction simple, the existing ductwork reservations are retained. Only the technical spaces and the load-bearing structures are constrained in their locations, the rest of the housing remains flexible and adapts to the user’s uses and desires.

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