No. 573 . 09 January 2013 

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This quintessential glass pavilion crowns a spacious apartment at the penthouse-level of Espace Jacqmotte, a derelict coffee plant in Brussels, Belgium, that has been redesigned and redeveloped by M. & J.M. Jaspers - J. Eyers & Partners, architects into a stunning full-block mixed-use complex. Photo: Courtesy Jaspers-Eyers & Partners

Espace Jacqmotte - Mixed Use in Brussels

by ArchitectureWeek

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A courtyard facade of the Espace Jacqmotte. Photo: Courtesy Jaspers-Eyers & Partners

When architect Michel Jaspers discovered this full city block, left vacant for decades and fallen into disrepair, he conceived to transform it into what the Espace Jacqmotte is today: probably first large-scale mixed-use complex in the heart of Brussels. The aim was to provide a mix of functions, thereby fulfilling the needs of various different occupants and visitors.

Within the constraints of the existing urban block in the historic centre of a major European capital, the project involved the careful preservation and restoration of its most authentic elements and classified facades, combined with contemporary additions designed in the spirit of the historic industrial fabric of the area.

Inside the Espace Jacqmotte complex, the more recently added central part of the industrial block was demolished in order to restore the original, open inner courtyard. In addition to providing natural lighting and ventilation to the surrounding compounds, it has now become a landscaped inner garden equipped with a pond — a peaceful and quiet place in which to escape from busy city life.

Adaptive Reuse

Espace Jacqmotte takes its name from the initial owner and occupant of the site, the well-known Belgian coffee brand Jacqmotte. Both the 'Maison Jacqmotte' and the production plant were located in the same building, which dates back to 1828. Jacqmotte left the building in the mid-1980s and the entire block was left abandoned for several years. In the early 1990s, architect Michel Jaspers took a special interest in this urban city block and envisioned both its renovation and revival.

The renovated Espace Jacqmotte has been transformed into a mixed-use complex including retail units along the famous Rue Haute, an art gallery, coffee shop, office spaces and a series of luxury apartments, with the penthouse apartment and glass pavilion on top.   >>>


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