Architecture Workroom

Towards a Visionary Housing Production in Flanders

Urbanisation in Flanders is exploding. The traditional model of a freestanding dwelling on a private parcel of land is unsustainable in the context of this looming spatial and socio-economic evolution. The study 'Naar een visionaire woningbouw' is charting stumbling blocks and developing a number of innovative spatial models to indicate the new direction the current Flemish spatial development policy may have to choose.

Study Towards a Visionary Housing Production in Flanders

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In the past decades, Flemish policy has favoured the ideal of the privately owned freestanding dwelling. The combination of this spatial model with equally spread economic growth has inevitably led to a continuous, evenly spread urban sprawl covering the whole of the Flemish territory. Hoping to counter this trend, the 1997 'Ruimtelijk Structuurplan Vlaanderen' formulated its preference for ‘high quality infill development’ or ‘deconcentrated clustering’. More than ten years on, it has become abundantly clear that the hoped-for break with current trends hasn’t sufficiently happened. Demographic studies predict an increase in the number of households by 330.000 or 13% between 2011 and 2030. Unless the established trend is reversed, urbanisation will keep expanding, covering as yet undeveloped parcels and residential extension areas.

The StudyNaar een visionaire woningbouw is outlining an innovation programme intended to stimulate a break with current trends. The challenges and stumbling blocks in Flemish housing policy are being charted by extrapolating the results from interviews and workshops with the parties concerned. In a innovation program, spatial questions will be translated to design studies on pilot sites, which will lead to actual realizations. In the innovation programme, a number of new housing formulas, operational strategies, partnerships will be developed and tested, which will act as leverage to effectuate a break with current trends and as an inspiration for new policy measures to be drawn up, such as the 'Woonbeleidsplan' (Housing policy plan) and the 'Beleidsplan Ruimte Vlaanderen' (Spatial policy plan Flanders).

This research project fits in with one of the Flemish Government Architect’s objectives, which is to develop spatial concepts to meet growing demand, that are also worthy alternatives to the traditional freestanding dwelling. 

The present spatial and social challenges, such as scarcity of open space and the growing awareness of environmental issues and climate change are essential requirements for the development of new spatial models. 

The StudyNaar een visionaire woningbouwis a collaboration between Architecture Workroom, Pascal De Decker (docent of Hogescholen Gent and WenK St.-Lucas and researcher with Steunpunt Ruimte en Wonen), Michael Ryckewaert (researcher ASRO and also with Steunpunt Ruimte en Wonen) and Dirk Somers (Bovenbouw architecten).

Commissioner: Flemish Government Architect


Flanders, completed, think tank


Guide plan—Brussels canal
The Ambition of the Territory—Belgian Pavilion Venice 2012
Making City—5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
Project definition—new prison in Haren
Building for Brussels— Architecture and urban transformation in Europe
Making City—Atelier Istanbul
G A R D E N— Parckdesign 2012
Open House Brussels—debates and artistic parcours
Exhibition—Making City
Exploring the metropolitan condition
The Next Economy— Belgium at The International Architecture Biennale 2016
Master Class—120% Brussels
City Trajectory—Brussels Canal
Program—Building For Brussels
Exhibition—Building for Brussels
Exhibition—Architecture for Justice
Concept studios—Spatial Policy Plan of Flanders
Article A+ 282 village— Cultivate the food landscape
Vacancy - Operational Director (w/m/x)
Delta Atelier document
Vacancy— Research collaborators
Vacancy— Communication manager
Transition— Learning, living, working in 2050
Publication— Architectuurcultuur in Vlaanderen (only in NL)
Workshop II— Delta Atelier Urban Management
Air For Schools workshop— Keizer Karellaan and Leopold II-tunnel
Netwerkbijeenkomst— Ontwerp met Beleid
Bap! Biennale of architecture and landscape of Île-de-France— 1st edition
Socio-spatial study— Baudelo Building Ghent
Water+Land+Scape approved
Urbanising in Place— Rosario Workshop
Social-spatial research— Ghent Sint-Pieters
Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial Edition 2018— Rising Waters
You Are Here - Brussels
Announcement — IABR-THE MISSING LINK Rotterdam and Brussels
Urbanising in Place— Building the Food-Water-Energy nexus
IABR–2018+2020–The Missing Link— Delta Atelier
Antwerp— Mapping the shift of metropolitan phenomena in Berchem extra muros
Publication— Designing the Future
CS Genk— Campus Bret 21st century learning landscape
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— and test site M4H
IABR–Atelier East Flemish Regio— Has left the starting blocks
Regional Call IABR-Atelier OVK— Help shape the future of the East Flanders Core region
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Energy transition as an urban project
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Call to Architects
Open Space Platform— Call Water-Land-Schap
Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities: Asia
Open Space Platform— Publication Operation Open Space
THE MISSING LINK— Curator Statement, Research Agenda and Call for Practices
Atelier Zennevallei
Urban Intervention — BRIDGE
Workshop Series — Urban Economy in the Brussels Metropolitan Area
Lecture and Debate — Fitting More Industry In
Rotterdam Biennale appoints three curators for diptych 2018+2020
A Whole World to Win— Floris Alkemade in conversation with Els Vervloesem and Joachim Declerck
Masterclass— Caring Neighborhoods
Atelier Kortrijk 2025— Innovative urban development strategy
Designing The Future— series of debates
Atelier Brussels— Masterclasses
Atelier Brussels— Lectures Structure and Stimulus
Atelier Brussels— Urban Walks
Antwerp— Study to map the livability of neighbourhoods
Atelier Brussels— Expo A Good City Has Industry
Spoor Oost— Urban Renewal Project
City of Bruges— Week of the City
Zeebrugge Revitalisation— Urban Renewal Project
Torhout— experiential and identity study
Launch OASE 96 Social Poetics— The Architecture of Use and Appropriation
From cure to care— transitions in the healthy city of Utrecht
Atelier Brussels— Urban Meeting IABR
Urban Meeting Bozar— The Productive Metropolis
Imagine Europe— Bozar
Atelier Brussels— The Productive Metropolis
Call for design teams— Atelier Brussels The Productive Metropolis
Development strategy— Ostend Eastern Shore
Review of spatial structure plan— Bruges City
The City as Factory— Buda Workroom
Colloquium — Architecture in Belgium and Turkey: Changing practices
Architecture Culture Platform
Ghent Muide-Meulestede
IABR 2016 — Atelier Utrecht: The Healthy City
Publication—Reweaving the Urban Carpet
Eurodelta 2030 - 2100
Eurometropolitan Blue Space
Atelier— Productive BXL
Atelier de Stad— Brussels
Lecture — Mark Brearley
Festival Kanal Play Ground
Metropolitan Coast Landscape 2100
IABR 2014 Urban by Nature— Atelier Brabantstad
Exploration of the Future of Flemish Land Company (VLM)
Productive Space By Design— conference
Strategic vision— Kern Rechteroever in Aalst
Strategic exploration— pilot projects productive landscape
Atelier— In Between
Atelier à Habiter— Exhibition
Preparatory workshop— development plan for Sidaplax in Ghent
Atelier De Stad Brussels— Kanal Play Ground
International Atelier— Eurometropolis
Expert advice— 'Nieuw Gent'
Preparatory workshop— housing development plan in Kapellen
Publication—The Ambition of the Territory
Symposium—Naar een gedeelde ontwerpagenda voor Vlaanderen
Vlaanderen als Ontwerp— Atelier
The Ambition of the Territory— deSingel International Arts Campus
Lecture—Carolyn Steel - The Hungry City
Changing Cultures of Planning— Rotterdam, Zürich, Nantes, Randstad, Bordeaux
Towards a Visionary Housing Production in Flanders
With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.