Paradis Express & City Hall of Hasselt amongst the winners at the European Property Awards 2019
As usual, London was the scene of the International Property Awards, a prestigious award for the highest levels of achievement by companies operating in all sectors of the property and real estate industry. The prize-giving ceremony took place on the 24th of October. Honoring an excellent habit, Belgium’s Jaspers-Eyers Architects, with offices in Brussels, Louvain and Hasselt, was among the winners once again. In the category ‘Public Services’ Architecture the office became second with the design of the city hall of Hasselt, a cooperation with UAU Collectiv en Michel Jansen Architecten. In the category Mixed Use Architecture, ‘Paradis Express’ in Liège won first prize, a collaboration with A2M and BAG.
A literal and metaphorical connection
Paradis Express is a mix of offices, shops, living space, services and parking lots. The site is situated in between the center of Liège and the train station, designed by Calatrava. It connects two city parts that were separated until recently. Cyclists and pedestrians can use the esplanade to go from the station to the ministry tower (a Jaspers-Eyers design) and from there on to the Mediacité shopping mall (also designed by Jaspers-Eyers) on the other side of the river Meuse. That way, an attractive axe leads the visitor from the station to the city center.
The project is an example of modern living, working and relaxing, on one location but in separate units. Manager John Eyers: “The mix of functions makes Paradis Express an out and out contemporary project, geared to the needs of a modern city in full development.”
Striking about the project are the open views, the many green roofs and the waving buildings, seemingly touching the ground only fleetingly, only to rise up again. Paradis Express not only brings life and dynamics into the city fabric, but also a green environment and harmony in the skyline.
Renewal and renovation to promote accessibility
The new town hall in Hasselt is a landmark in the city, visible from the Hasselt ring road. But it is much more than that. The new building forms a unity with the adjacent square, but also with the adjoining old gendarmerie, a building in neoclassical style dating from 1879 which was thoroughly renovated for the project. A remarkable feature of the new building is the oblique mirror wall, reflecting life in the city and on the underlying square.
The ground floor accommodates the desks of the city services, as well as the counters of Social Services. For a maximal embedding in the city fabric, the plinth is transparent, which summarizes well the idea behind the concept. The main goal was to establish a warm welcome in the house of the citizen. It therefore comes as no surprise that the atmosphere in the city hall is one of openness and security.
Manager Jean-Michel Jaspers: “The city wanted to tear down the walls between the citizen and city services, literally and metaphorically. The design came about with that accessibility in mind.”
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In case of publication please make sure to add the following cooperations
City Hall Hasselt : in cooperation with UAU Collective & Michel Janssen Arcitecten
Paradis Express : in cooperation with A2M & BAG
Images © Jaspers-Eyers Architects – Photography Philippe van Gelooven
Paradis Express wins 1st prize in the category Mixed-use Architecture
Stadhuis Hasselt wins the first prize for Public Services Architecture