- Mechelen, Belgium
- Sergio Pirrone
Once a decayed place, House of Lorraine was a grievance at the Grote Markt in Mechelen. So dmvA was asked to transform this corner and revive the market and street scene. In this project there was great importance attached to urban integration, with respect for the history of the building. For dmvA, high quality living was also the aim.
The concept of House of Lorraine is based on the urban morphology of the Grote Markt. Rather than building one big monolith, the rhythm and form of the original facades were kept. In that way, the rhythm of the street was not disrupted. By preserving the rhythm of the facades, the residences are small and vertical. dmvA decided not to arrange the indoor areas themselves, but instead give the inhabitants the flexibility to fill in their house according to their needs.
Because the house on the corner was once white plastered, city Mechelen requested dmvA to bring that back. Therefore, the other houses became white too, each with a different materiality. The first facade consists of aluminium slats and the second one consists of precast concrete with a cross pattern. Because of their structure, the facades are airy and open, but ensure enough privacy. The third facade is glass, where the ground floor can be used for commercial purposes. The fourth got renovated and white plastered.
An inner street was created between the residences, allowing the light to circulate better and reach the corner house too. The private terraces, built by floor tiles in expanded metal, were placed floating above the inner street.