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Melgeshof: Masterplan and execution of elderly housing with a community centre, Antwerp, BE

The focus of the masterplan was the seamless integration of the care program into the existing context to create a neighbourhood that is adaptable to the changing needs of life. The second point of attention was the quality of the individual homes, treating the care residents as new full-fledged inhabitants of the neighbourhood. With a compact composition of the new a small building block around a garden is created with both existing neighbours and new residents around it. On the northern side a large public neighbourhood park is kept open. The most public amenity, the local community centre with a neighbourhood restaurant, is placed in the middle of this.

The brick L-shaped building houses two parts of the elderly home, each with 60 residential units and assisted living units. The flats have a view on the public side, park or street, and on the collective courtyard garden. The continuity of the building maximizes the functionality. To match the large building to the scale of the surrounding streets we add several entrances and a vertical rhythm in the facade. Inside the building block an enclosed and private courtyard garden can be found. Here a lower curved volume in wood with another 60 units with a more intimate character is placed.

The park restores a historical connection through the neighbourhood. The existing trees form the base of the park and will be supplemented with robust planting. The collective amenities of the elderly home are located along the new park. The public character of the park is reinforced by placing an elegant tower centrally in it. The ground floor houses the community centre with a public restaurant, while the assisted living flats on the upper floors maximally profit from the green surroundings. 

With a bottom up approach priority was given to the inhabitants and their needs. The idea was to create living spaces in which residents can live in their own way, with their memories and possessions. All the housing units are suitable and adaptable for changing care needs of their inhabitants. A personalized home that is adaptable to changing needs and is seamlessly integrated into the neighbourhood.

Project Facts

Scope of work

Masterplan for a care neighbourhood and design and execution of an elderly home, a day care centre, assisted living units and a community centre

Collaboration

Osar architects (architect), Landinzicht (landscape design), Ingenium (techniques), Macobo (stability), bureau France (landscape technical)

Location

Merksem, Antwerp, Belgium

Scale

3,25 ha project area, 28.500m² buildings, 1,4ha neighbourhood park

Client

Zorgbedrijf Antwerpen

Contractor

Artes Roegiers (phase 1), Vanhout.pro (phase 2)

Status

Masterplan 2012, phase 1 delivered 2019, phase 2 in execution

Photography

Tim Van de Velde, Osar

Awards

1st place in international Open Call by Flemish Government Architect