With this project, POLO formulates an elaborate, sustainable and future-oriented answer to the challenges of urban planning.
Transparent noise barrier
POLO spread 207 apartments and penthouses across two elegant fourteen-storey residential towers. The two meticulously oriented buildings, Louise and Marie - named after the former children's hospital, are connected through an impressive glass screen. This barrier buffers the noise pollution of the inner and outer ring roads and creates a pleasant acoustic microclimate. Behind the screen, residents can enjoy the peace and quiet on their outdoor balconies. The design team also included solutions for noise pollution control on the buildings' outer shell. Balconies and terraces on that side are walled and can be closed off according to the loggia principle.
By separating the towers, the designers purposefully disrupted the project's monolithic appearance. This is also important for the residents and guests of Hotel Mercure and Hertogenpark Residence, located at the back of the site. Thanks to the deduplication, these residents can still enjoy their panoramic view. On top of that, they can benefit from the pleasant new green surroundings.
"By duplicating the building, we managed to create a harmonious setup including communal outdoor spaces and private balconies. The acoustic screen creates a pleasant and noise-free space, sheltered from the wind."
Green park garden
The two towers are surrounded by a lovely sloping park garden with low vegetation and multi-stem trees. Landscape architect Dirk Vandekerkhove moulded the terrain with the neighbouring Hertogenpark as a starting point, drawing the vegetation into a permeable green corridor that connects the park with the inner ring road. A generous open green space provides a feeling of spaciousness and vastness. The green courtyard and the water features radiate peace. Three large elliptical benches add to the garden experience.
Next to the pond, below the glass screen, a wadi with customised vegetation ensures the infiltration of captured rainwater. A green embankment at the front of the site shields the building from the bustling traffic. As soon as the outer ring road is covered with roofing, the green surroundings will amplify and the quality of life will further improve for Louise Marie residents.
New gateway to the city
The two towers have a different volume, which makes for a pleasant and frivolous appearance. The apartments are bright and spacious, and residents, particularly on the higher floors, can enjoy magnificent panoramic views. But Louise Marie is also an iconic landmark for all traffic entering Antwerp from the inner ring road. Its elegant towers, water features, park garden and transparent acoustic screen combine for a new urban dynamic, a landmark that radiates peace and transparency.