City Dox

competition design
POLO finds a wealth of opportunities in a multifaceted brief for a city block.
In our scheme we envisage new and unexpected scenarios through a cross-pollination of functions.


competition design
  • Sureal

The project site is at the heart of a new urban development on disused industrial lands in the south of Brussels: seven city blocks around a green square. The masterplan prescribes a mid-rise residential block facing the square, while a school is located at the other end, bordering a new park. The resulting L-shaped building envelope is the intriguing starting point for a hybrid Janus-faced monolith integrating two contrasting appearances in response to those preconditions.

Of loggias and back alleys
A mix of apartment types
A courtyard school

The volume of the school opens up to the park in a generous welcoming gesture: a vast opening with a floor of classrooms spectacularly bridging over it. This void continues into the building, transforming into a courtyard around which the building wraps itself. Here playgrounds proliferate over two levels. The lowest playground functions as the school entrance. Accessible by ramp, its raised position provides panoramic views of the park. Around this central space various supporting functions are located such as staffrooms, admin offices, the canteen and sports hall. A large outdoor staircase leads to the upper level playground and classrooms on the second floor.

Structural framework

Associated themes