Rochendaal Sint-Truiden

Winning competition design for the redevelopment of a former military site.

The former militairy site Rochendaal, with a surface of 250 000 m², will be redeveloped into a housing and park area with an existing castle and surrounding lakes. The park landscape is conceived as a concatenation of submersible wetland, an English garden and an 'urban forest' with newly built dwellings. As an addition to the current housing market in Sint-Truiden, a diverse typology of houses are provided, such as dwellings for senior citizens and elderly people, co-housing, 'kangaroo dwellings' and houses for young couples and families with children.
The development of the area allows the complete site to be integrated in a wider green structure. An attractive park, which combines the submerible area with the current castle garden, is the centre of the design. This special landscape structure will be reinforced by making it more legible and using it as a structuring principle for the future developments. The qualities of the area are emphasized by prioritizing the landscape, wich will make the the area more attractive to diverse groups of people.
Given the qualities of the current site, the historical organization is respected as much as possible. Based on the footpirnt of the military structure compact clusters are defined: building is only possible on places of former sheds and barracks or as an addition to these volumes. Existing paths, roads, canals border these clusters. In this way, the DNA of the military site is the base for the new developments and a maximum respect for the exiting tree population. This principle allows a flexibly phasing in which the old sheds can be replaced step by step. Fragments of the existing buildings can (temporarely) be maintained to enhance the character of the site and save on demolition costs. Optionally a restauration or addition of a new volume to the existing building is possible.
The aim is to achieve a sustainable development from macro- to microscale: from urban structure to the buildings and there MEP equipment, where the quality of life on the site is key. It's essential for both scale levels to introduce this from the first concept phase. Rochendaal will become the an examplary neighbourhood with low-energy-dwellings, passive housing and collective energy facilities. It's based on a cradle-to-cradle-strategy where e.g. the use of natural materials, CO2-reduction during construction, reuse of rainwater en the recycling of all construction materials is taken into account.

client Agost
location Sint-Truiden, Belgium
period 2013-present
procedure competition, laureate
team Lieven Achtergael, Kris Huysmans, Aryani Sari Rahmanti, Pauline De Schryver, Tine Bulckaen, Pietter Lansens, Jeroen De Smet
i.c.w. Atelier Kempe Thill (design masterplan), Proap (design landscape), Mint (study mobility)