© Séverin Malaud

The Nekkersdal Community Centre, located in Laeken, is an important meeting place and home to many Dutch-speaking initiatives and organisations in the north of the Brussels Region. The community centre consists of the front part of a former town house in the Bockstaellaan and an assortment of old industrial properties completely embedded in the dense urban fabric. These extend as far as the Gustave Schildknechtstraat.

In recent years, more and more problems have occurred due to the outdated infrastructure that is no longer suitable for current needs. Moreover, organic growth and a number of isolated interventions over the years have created a cluttered and inefficient whole. The recent decision to purchase the neighbouring property that housed the Luisterpuntbibliotheek (library for print-impaired persons) creates a new opportunity to redevelop the entire site.

The challenge of the project is to propose a global approach that uses the potential of the site for possible partnerships, restructures the complexity of this heterogeneous ensemble of properties into an intelligible whole, and at the same time valorises its programmatic and spatial qualities.

The current programme and partners on the site will be retained. A variety of additional programmes in the public or semi-public sector are imaginable depending on their practical and spatial implementation on site. With this in mind, part of the available space will be left as ‘blank space’ that may be appropriated by one or more future partners.

The Flemish Community Commission (VGC) is publishing a Design and Build assignment in the form of a competitive dialogue for the design and implementation of this multifunctional reconversion project. The VGC is looking for a multidisciplinary team consisting of both a contractor and design team (architecture and urban planning, landscape design, stability engineer, building services engineer, environmental and sustainable development expert).

The VGC asks candidates to provide tender documents in Dutch.