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By Pauline Harou, Paulien Beeckman, Ahmed Soliman

Univers-city: Bringing the university to the city.

The concept of the Univers-City highlights five main aspects of the Solbosch campus and its surrounding at the BUD scale:
-Linking the campus to the city,
-mobility systems,
-the landscape design,
-the environmental developments (including water management and energy) and
-the notion of symbiosis,
are the main point of concern.

These strategies help us discuss sustainability beyond environmental issues and also consider the social and economic levels.
Our first ambition is to open the campus to the city. By connecting the university with the city of Brussel, the campus will be transformed into an open space for the neighbourhood. Regarding this, we provide several common areas such as a swimming pool, sports fields, urban farming, a playground on top of a building, 24h/7 open libraries, a café and food services, a ressourcerie, auditoriums and finally multi-functional areas to be shared for public events, conferences, etc. Therefore, the new entrance building will be filled with community services as a link to the city.

We then focus on the mobility at the scale of the campus and the BUD.
For the BUD, we use the principle of the Superquadra of Barcelona.
On the campus we remove car accesses, with this we want to make public transport and soft mobility more attractive. Therefore, parking spots can be transformed into multi-functional areas.

Regarding environmental issues, the water is managed to prevent flooding on campus and, more importantly, to prevent the water from going to the lower-lying areas in the BUD. The following challenge that we tackled is energy. On-campus we work further to diminish heat loss and seek to use more renewable energy like solar panels and geothermal energy.

The last ambition is the symbiosis and building development. One of the main strategies that we use for the master plan is to stay within the footprints of existing buildings. Therefore, we create extensions on top of buildings or use the footprints of existing ones.

Since one of the main problems with the campus is a shortage of classrooms, we work with reprogramming to provide more classrooms. Furthermore, we also provide a faculty reprogramming to improve their development and character.

Assignment title
University and the city: towards sustainable (re)development of the Brussels University District (BUD)
Academic year
Study year
Structure Material
Structural System
public building, mixed (housing and public), public space, urban planning
energy efficiency, refurbishment & conversion, sustainable urbanism
Course(s) attached
Date of defense
12 August 2020