Casanova+Hernandez architects | L021_Voetballerstraat Public Space


L021_Voetballerstraat Public Space

Boom, Belgium

The future developments in the city of Boom such as the commercial and cultural centre “De Klamp” and the new ringweg planned over the Voetballersstraat require urban solutions that take into account three main aspects: functionality, environment and identity.

The proposal “Green Passage” is based on the separate analysis of these aspects in order to create an integral proposal that combines the functional and environmental solutions achieving at the same time a coherent and strong identity for Voetballersstraat.

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The fact that Voetballersstraat is strategically located on the green axis composed by the recreational area De Scherre, the future “Groene dak Park” of De Klamp and the Gemeentelijk Park brings an extraordinary opportunity to create a urban landmark with a strong identity by reinforcing the green character of the street.

The proposal “Green Passage” is based on an integral scheme that can be understood as an addition of layers:

The functional layer solves the problems of traffic with a road wide enough to absorb the new planned flows of the area. The current layouts of the two squares on both extremes of the street are replaced by more efficient ones with traffic lights.

The environmental layer solves the problems created by the increment of traffic in the street. It is based on the concept of an “environmental passage” created by rubber asphalt on the pavement and two green walls on both sides of the road.

The pavement of rubber asphalt reduces the noise emission and vibration produced by the traffic.

The “green walls” on both sides of the road work as vegetal barrier between the traffic and the houses:

– They minimize enormously the visual impact of the traffic in the houses creating a feeling of privacy in the open spaces such as gardens and balconies

– They reduce the air pollution by the extensive use of vegetation and promote the ventilation of the street by conducting the wind between the two green walls

– They reduce a bit the noise impact in the neighbourhood

The identity of the street is defined by the “Green Passage” that links the “green roof Park” of the Kamp and the recreational area De Scherre. It works as a green buffer that solves the environmental problems and at the same time defines the strong image of the street.

The “green walls” of the Green Passage, although conceptually understood as a continuous element, are in fact made by a catalogue of green elements accurately combined. Depending of the characteristics of the context the green wall changes its properties to give appropriate answer.

The first typical section of the street near De Klamp is characterized by wider dimensions with front gardens on both sides.

On the north side of the street the housing blocks have collective gardens.

In this area the green wall is defined by a hedge that creates privacy for the gardens or allows visual contact with the street by varying its height between 1.8 and 1 meter.

On the opposite side, the necessity of allowing the entrance of cars to the garages of the single family houses makes a complete two meters high strip open on ground floor. The green wall is kept in the upper part due to the flat trees.

The second typical section of the street, located close to the new cross point, it is characterized by low houses near the road without front gardens. In this area the walk side is enlarged to provide more distance to the cars and wider walk side space. The hedge is transformed into flat trees that avoid a tunnel effect for pedestrians on ground floor and protect the windows of the houses against the traffic.

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Boom Municipality and Vlaams Bouwmeester
Infrastructure and public space
Restricted Competition. Shortlisted. Current phase: Study
6.000 m²