20 service homes + service spaces / 1 apartment

The project is located in the town centre of Ronse, on the corner of Engelsenlaan and Puissantstraat, on the grounds of the historical “Villa Ferrant” or “Villa Portois” town villas.

The preservation of the heritage value of Villa Ferrant was one of the basic points of departure for the project. The historical value and the impact of the estate and the garden on the surroundings have been duly respected and – along with accessibility and sustainability – constitute the basic cornerstones of the design.

We opted to keep the villa intact and to hitch the project onto this elementary choice, both from a conceptual and organisational angle. Behind the villa a contemporary volume has been embedded that is home to 20 flats for senior citizens. The building occupies a central position on the plot, which has left the park aspect with its valuable old trees, intact as widely as possible as a link with the urban fabric.

The newly built portion of the project consists of a volume with four floors and five residential units per floor. The dwellings are tailored to the needs of senior citizens and, courtesy of their simple design, can be easily further detailed to cater for specific disabilities. They are wholly accessible by wheelchair, which makes the entire project suited for disabled people. The embedment of this building behind the villa limits the visual impact of the volume on its surroundings, whilst simultaneously raising the acoustic comfort and the quality of life in the home. Because of the central location in the garden park, the houses are set in a safe and comfortable green island inside the busy urban environment.

In terms of architecture, we deliberately went for a trim and contemporary language of form and compact architecture. It was decided to go for a second skin facade, whereby the outer shell is an open facade. The exterior facade on the west face is an active facade, an adaptable wood slat structure, which also serves as sun protection. This helps produce a more comfortable indoor climate. The outer skin on the east face is made out of O-shaped facade elements, which create a gentle transition between park and facade.

The villa itself serves as the main entrance for visitors and hosts the multi-purpose spaces required as part of the project.