The canal area in Brussels is famous for its industrial heritage, but today we are witnessing the integration of housing units within this  urban  fabric. On the former site of the  BPost  building, Stéphane  Beel  developed a master plan for  a vierdeel. Towards the inside of the plot, the four  buildings  together form an intimate garden-room recognizable by the typology of  an  exuberant  number  of cantilevered  terraces. Towards  the outside of the plot, however,  the approach is different:  every building establishes a relationship with its  neighbouring  environment.  

51N4E is responsible for the design of building B along Willebroekkaai. The building seeks to create a strong alliance with the park opposite and especially its potential to be recognized as a more open and attractive park,  which is seen  as a strong quality for the housing units. The east façade  dissociates  itself  from the busy boulevard  through panoramic  loggias  in a volume shifted back from the main road. The loggias are designed as a  third  (outdoor) room that creates a buffer zone with the street and a sheltered spot for the residents with a green view on the city park.  Through their design and the possibility they offer of being closed off from the street with simple sliding glass panels, these  loggias  can also function  perfectly  as valuable  winter gardens. 

The  one-bedroom apartments  along the  park side  are developed  as  three-room apartments:  a  living area,  a  bedroom and  a  loggia. All  three  rooms are connected to  each other  and maximize the use of this small  living unit  into a generous apartment. The  studios  on the  west side  have a shorter depth  and are mainly oriented along the length of the façade. All  studios  have three  generous windows  that let light enter deeply,  but also establish a strong  open relationship with the more silent inner courtyard.

  • Location

    Brussels, Belgium

  • Client

    AG Real Estate/ Vooruitzicht

  • Construction

    2016 - 2019

  • 51N4E project team

    Johan Anrys, Freek Persyn, Aline Neirynck, Saar Tilleman, Olivier Cavens, Gerlinde Verhaeghe, Annaïk Deceuninck, Marta Petrov

  • 51N4E involvement

    Full Process

  • Structural engineer


  • Technical engineer


  • Acoustical engineer


  • Construction costs

    € 5.500.000

  • Programme

    Studio’s (51 m² brut, 43m² netto), one-bedroom apartments (68 m² brut, 59m² netto) and office space

  • Built surface

    8.400 m² (including terraces)

  • Photography

    Filip Dujardin

  • Image credits