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Parc de la Sennette: Design and execution of a new neighbourhood park and promenade, Brussels, BE

Parc de la Sennette is a new linear park following the course of a former tributary of the Senne river in the densely populated Heyvaert neighbourhood. Like two green ribbons cutting through the urban fabric. The park will bring nature and recreation to a neighbourhood that is in desperate need of this.

The park will be a green promenade, more than one kilometre long and minimally 12 meter wide, connecting different existing parks and centralities in a safe way for cyclists and pedestrians, independent of the busy streets. 12 meter is the minimal width to combine the ambitions in terms of nature and usage. The big challenge is to find a way through the backside that the former river arm has become. Most of the space is currently used as parking space for the car industry that is located in the area and the property structure is complex. The new park will be constructed in phases depending on land acquisition’s possibilities. A masterplan ensures continuity.

In some buildings blocks a little more space can be found to widen the linear park and create ‘urban living rooms’. Here we can respond to other needs of the neighbourhood by integrating playgrounds, seating areas, BBQ tables, sport equipment, vegetable gardens and simple multifunctional space. The design of these living rooms is done in close participation with the neighbourhood stakeholders.

The former tributary of the Senne river forms in many ways the inspiration for the design of the park. Not only by maximizing the space for nature and water, but also by applying several ‘nature-based solutions”, such as natural soil regeneration basis (phytoremediation) and sustainable drainage systems.

But also the industrial history deserves a central role in the park. Several valuable relicts, such as the old metal trusses of a former printing activity or the interesting shower building, are re-integrated in the park and given a new purpose. The final park will have no less than 17 entrance gates. Since these are the face of the park towards the surrounding streets they are also given the necessary architectural attention.

Project Facts

Scope of work

Masterplan, design and execution of the public space of the Parc de la Sennette

Collaboration

Okra (landscape architects), ARA (technical support), UTIL (stability), Les Eclairagistes Associés (lighting), Driekwart Groen (ecology), HSP (juridical advice), Abesco (safety), 21 Solutions (citizen participation)

Location

Anderlecht, Molenbeek, Brussels Capital Region

Scale

Length of the park 1.2km

Client

Bruxelles Environnement

Status

Masterplan completed 2020, phase 1 constructions documents, phase 2 building permit

Awards

Winner international design competition by the Bouwmeester Maitre Architecte