On a former flower-auction site located on the boarder of the city Aalst, OFFICE in collaboration with Bureau Bas Smets designed a new masterplan with a mixed commercial and residential program. The development is a direct commission of a real estate developer. The site is located on the edge of 19th century urban fabric, adjacent to a campus-like park. The proximity of the hospital and other health-facilities in the park entailed the ambition to establish
a masterplan strongly focussed on care. The excellent accessibility of the site - as well as special-need adapted apartments and commercial programs like a pharmacy, physiotherapists, doctors practice, special aid service companies ensure this objective. The masterplan entails a development of 30.000m2 subdivided in two phases. Besides the collaboration to the masterplan, OFFICE designed the first set of buildings, adding up to 7800m2 in total,
this maximum surface was limited by the city’s urban development program. The family of buildings are named the Urban Villa and the Strip. The Strip consists of three identical buildings with three floor levels. Analogue to the Urban Villa, the ground floors of the strip contain mainly commercial spaces, the buildings-entrances, bicycle storages and technical spaces. The volume on top of this plinth has a smaller footprint and accommodates six houses with a garden. The plinth of the Urban villa is similar to the Strip, the facade is finished with white tiles, and forms the base of a lush roofgarden. Yet, the urban villa consists on top of the plinth of five identical floors with on each level six classical residential apartments, opening on to a genereus wintergarden-loggia.


2018 –


Aalst, BE


Mixed use, Residential, Urban, Retail




7 800 m2


Skyline Europe


COBE, Bureau Bas Smets, HP Engineers, Baukuh, Christ & Gantenbein, Eric Lapierre Experience

Design team

Kersten Geers, David Van Severen, Jan Lenaerts, Nicholas Jacobs, Vincent Vanassche, Shinji Terada, Henri de Chassey, Alexander Smedts, Margherita Sorgentone, Leander Venlet, Elisa Guarnieri