As the name suggests, the project is situated on the site of the old gasworks on the outskirts of Lier. Between the green ramparts and the Nete, we find ourselves in a peaceful, green valley close to the centre on one of the approach roads that leads to the marketplace.
On account of the industrial activities that had been carried out there in the past, it became necessary to decontaminate the plot and demolish the old factory building. A brand new urban design was rolled out within the space freed up.
The arrangement of the buildings at the site followed every detail of the layout plan outlined in the Spatial Execution Plan (SEP).
A unique stipulation in the SEP was the requirement for the elements to be clearly defined while giving each building its own identity at the same time.
The project comprises four volumes that are oriented at right angles to the valley, thus reinforcing the presence of the adjacent ramparts. They include a varied selection of 134 units with apartments, sheltered housing, commercial spaces and catering establishments.
They are interconnected by a wide footpath created using anthracite-coloured clay pavers from Vande Moortel, with a spacious underground car park underneath. The outside space has been interpreted as a park, ensuring that the project blends in seamlessly with the surrounding ramparts.
The four volumes speak the same architectural language and form a coherent whole. A central thread that runs through the whole project is the way that floors have been accentuated using architectural concrete and a rhythm has been created by changing patterns in the brickwork and terraces.
Via a meticulous choice of materials and a number of visual variations in shade, each volume has been given its own unique identity that makes the most of its exact location at the site. The gatehouse in front responds to the more urban context. It serves as a landmark with its public-oriented base, seven floors, internal terraces and the black-grey shade of the brickwork.
The park apartments have a different rhythm again, with outside terraces and large windows. Connecting to the ramparts, they have been built using the Green Grey and Brown Grey shades from the Miniature series.
A feature of the facing bricks from this series is that they help to refine the fairly substantial volumes.
The remarkably small size, both in terms of height and length, and the shade of the bricks create a detailed façade.
De Architecten NV: "By choosing a facing brick with a smaller size than normal, even the largest block has been given a human dimension by using this really rewarding façade material within a large-scale residential project."