The Chassart site along Avenue Van Volxem in Forest bears witness to the area’s dynamic industrial past. Formerly a distillery producing the “Chassart Vieille Cuvée” genever gin, the complex now houses a series of offices, a housing unit, multi-purpose spaces and a branch of ONE (Office de la Naissance et de l’Enfance). It is within this context that Beliris wishes to develop the Chassart site into a “Children’s Neighbourhood” (Cité de la petite Enfance).
Bounded by the railway on one side and Van Volxem Avenue on the other, the Chassart site is located on the outskirts of the Saint-Antoine district and on the path of the future Avant-Senne Park, which will run alongside the railway. Developing connections between the site and the neighbourhood is therefore possible and, indeed, part of the brief.
This is a complete architect’s assignment to redevelop the site into a “Children’s Neighbourhood”, i.e. a place specifically dedicated to cultural development for young children in connection with nearby cultural sites. The aim will be to create a porous connection between the future Avant-Senne park, Avenue Van Volxem and the Saint-Antoine district. This should make the courtyard feel welcoming and well-integrated in the surrounding landscape while enhancing connections between neighbouring areas. A participative process should inform this last aspect of the project.
In addition, as some parts of the site have clear heritage value, the Mansion and the Warehouse should be retained and enhanced, as a minimum. Finally, the project will have to present ambitious social, economic and environmental proposals, with a plan for circular and sustainable construction.
This initiative is part of the Neighbourhood Revitalization Project – Urban Renewal Contract (CRU) n°4 “Avenue du Roi” in Forest/Saint-Gilles.