The task was a complex one: to provide a large number of dwellings within a deep block while ensuring that every dwelling had sufficient natural light and views. At the same time, the project had to bring life to the new city district. POLO Architects, META architectuurbureau and Cores Development came up with a solution to the challenge.
The result: a striking block with unprecedented typology in Belgium. Niklaas Deboutte of META architectuurbureau: “It is important for Cadiz to have a good relationship with its surroundings on different scales. On the scale of the city, the block can be read from further away while on the scale of the neighbourhood, it has a direct connection to the square and the surrounding streets.”
Cadiz is therefore a building with two faces. At close range, at street level, all that you see are the dark façades with windows behind which the shop premises are situated.
The white concrete façade elements shield the functions behind from the street while providing transparency via alternating openings at the same time. They surround the block, creating a robust whole.
From a distance, Cadiz has a rather monumental image. Four tower blocks constructed solely of brick, set back from the building line, stand with their knees on the roof of the lower part of the building and with their feet in the lower-level courtyard garden.
The typology of the existing warehouse buildings on the Eilandje inspired the materialisation of the 4 residential blocks using façade brickwork and prefabricated concrete.
The search for and composition of the colour and material pallet also focussed on a facing brick that could enter into a dialogue with the clean design of the plinth and the expressive form of the balconies in white prefabricated concrete.
In the design process, choosing the ‘Hand-Made’ facing brick Nature7 Brick R proved an easy decision to make on account of its green-grey colour (the colour of clay) and its robust, rugged character.
The colour of the jointing was chosen in order to make the colour and character of the facing brick stand out.