The former marshland of Watersite in Vilvoorde was thoroughly industrialised in the course of the 19th century as the canal and the railways were built. The canal zone grew from the Brussels harbour to the north to become an extensive industrial area.
The construction of the Brussels ring road and Zaventem airport interrupted this north-south development in the ‘60s. New developments such as logistic and office activities were built at new locations near some other hubs in the regional or national road network.
Thanks to the typical character of the canal and the river Zenne, Watersite is now an important asset for the future development of the town of Vilvoorde.
2007 saw the start of the realisation of the urban design for De Molens. This plan, in essence, envisages a substantial extension of the town, entailing the development of a new town quarter where people will live and work near the water, in a green environment. A green strip along the canal zone will serve as a carpet alongside a number of residential blocks, each with its own identity and shape, based on and carefully grafted onto the surroundings. The area between Zenne and Schaarbeeklei is earmarked for land-based living, combined with urban functions (such as a school) and urban public space.
PSR Brownfield Developers
location Vilvoorde, Belgium
surface 160 000 m²
budget € 165 000 000
team Lieven Achtergael, Sander Verhanneman, Steve Salembier, Dirk Liekens, Kris Huysmans, Aryani Sari Rahmanti, Rein Bultynck, Jeffrey Berghman, Kris Broidioi, Meta Roeymans, Djamila Djait, Pietter Lansens, Annelien Vandecasteele, Tom Janssens, Nathalie Delbeque
i.c.w. Bureau Bas Smets (landscape design), Mint (mobility study)