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By Eleonora Rubinacci

How can we renovate an academic building in a sustainable, creative and respectful way?

Project archiLink consists in an adaptive reuse of the original Engineering Labs into the Architectural Faculty building. Located in the North-East quadrant of the Solbosch Campus, archiLink takes advantage of the current L building to its maximum while using regenerative materials for additions. The project focuses on creating flexible and well-lit spaces to foster innovation. Two green squares leading to the entries surround the building on either side.

The three-dimensional exhibition pathway is the backbone of the project. Linking the entries to the café-bar on the rooftop, it offers the users a ‘promenade architecturale’ through the building. This pathway is an immersion into the learning environment and an inspiring route for academic project exhibitions, bringing the creativity of the Faculty into light. Additionally, a secondary circulation provides shortcuts between the indoor spaces via footbridges and reused-steel staircases. A tertiary circulation with a lift and outdoors fire escapes completes the spaces’ distribution.

Promoting experimentation and learning is at the heart of the project. Counting almost 60% of studio spaces, archiLink also offers two 250-seat auditoria for its students. The roof’s landscapes and the walls finish can be modified by the students over and over, ensuring the dynamism of the building in time. The structure and technical elements are purposefully visible, and the building’s materials are available to students in a materials library furnishing four different workshops. The remodeled L building also counts a brand-new architectural Research Unit.

The brick façades are kept intact for patrimonial reasons as the L building is one of the oldest on Campus. The presence of outreaching concrete columns and beams gives texture to the walls. These are insulated from the inside with hemp blocks. The South façade is transformed into a trombe wall and is used to thermoregulate and ventilate the building, in combination with two solar chimneys and a geothermal energy system. Those chimneys, a large transversal atrium, large windows and high ceilings ensure that light reaches every room inside.

Assignment title
Sustainable Urban Regeneration of the Brussels University Destrict (BUD): ULB SOLBOSCH CAMPUS - Sustainable Architectural Project
Academic year
Study year
Structure Material
wood, reinforced concrete, mixed
Structural System
beam-column, masonry
public building, other
sustainable design, circular economy, sustainable urbanism
Course(s) attached
Date of defense
18 May 2021