Peterbos

The Peterbos project in Anderlecht involves the renovation of a building with 81 social housing units and three small commercial spaces. The structure of the project is twofold. On the one hand, there is the rudimentary renovation and renewal of the technical equipment and the (common) interior spaces of the existing building. On the other hand, there is the addition of an independent structure to both long façades, adding a winter garden to each apartment. The ground-floor spaces will be extended to the rear façade (removing existing apartments on the east façade), and a second access to the entrance halls will be created. The commercial space on the south façade, which is currently used for community work, will have a double-height extension on the southeast corner, enlarging enlarge the building’s collective interface.

For a project such as the Peterbos building, it is pertinent for us to show that such a project is no exception, but stands for an approach that is applicable to and can be repeated on all social high- or mid-rise dwellings. This is only possible, however, if the spatial and technical interventions we propose focus on the specific problems posed by this type of building and if the project suggests targeted interventions that are also economically pertinent. This targeted intervention in the structure of the building makes it possible to create a sustainable renovation with high added value at a cost price that is considerably lower than that of a new building.

The aim is therefore to significantly improve performance and use, and to give the building a new sustainable quality at a cost considerably lower than that of a reconstruction or new construction. For clients, this means that they can envisage realizing a larger number of well-renovated and transformed homes with the same budget.

The objective is not to renew everything, but to achieve a high-quality renovation. We strive for an optimal minimum, realizing as many qualities as possible within what is economically reasonable, in order to make a project that can serve as a model for other projects, and eventually lead to a more massive improvement in the quality of that existing type of housing.


  • Location

    Anderlecht, Belgium

  • Client

    Beliris + Foyer Anderlechtois

  • In collaboration with

    Lacaton Vassal architectes

  • 51N4E project team

    Johan Anrys, Jan Opdekamp, Ruben Janssens, Paul Steinbrück, Janik Beckers, Matteo Frangi, Anton Parys, Gianni Villa

  • 51N4E involvement

    Full process, design and follow-up of the project, coordination with the neighbourhood contract

  • Consultants

    BAS, Istema, VUB

  • Structural engineer

    BAS nv

  • Construction management

    51N4E/Lacaton Vassal

  • Programme

    Social housing, commercial space, social program

  • Site surface

    1.648,67 m²

  • Built surface

    11.932,13 m²

  • Photography

    51N4E

  • Image credits

    51N4E/Lacaton Vassal