The Molenbeek Valley is a historical landscape, rich in natural environments and activities, and reflects the opportunities and threats for the position of landscape and (peripheral) open space within the metropolitan development of Brussels. With its position between the regions of Flanders, and the Brussels Capital Region, the valley is marked by an administrative and political rupture in addition to  the large contrast between city and countryside. Therefore, the Molenbeek valley is a hinge territory, offering much potential to become an instigator for the development of tomorrow’s peripheral Brussels.

In this research by design project, the urban fabric is reflected and shaped by its landscape structures, primarily read in section. The strategy for the development of the Molenbeek Valley is based upon the topographical characteristics of the site. This leads to the definition of multiple morpho-typologies of open space depending on their height within the valley structure: hilltop, cascade and low valley. These functional as well as spatial typologies translate into locations: for a (metropolitan) landmark, for an intensive confrontation with the urban tissue or for a natural corridor.

The overall vision for the Valley is to create a productive park for Brussels West, inducing a mind shift in the metropolis and allowing the urgent problematic of food sustainability to become visible. The park will introduce short circuits, and will combine ecological, productive and public spaces into one coherent (peri-urban) landscape structure. The relation with the surrounding tissue is essential in this respect. Diverse pilot projects have been pre-defined for the different sequences (rural, hinge or urban) of the park.

The metropolitan landscape of the Molenbeek Valley becomes a hinge and lever for the development of the Northwestern periphery of Brussels.

  • Program / Project: BRUSSELS / Metropolitan Landscapes : Molenbeek Valley
  • Client: Vlaams Bouwmeester
  • Project management: Agence Ter
  • Budget: 45 000 €
  • Area: 2500 ha
  • Date: 2014-2015
  • Location: Brussels, Belgium

BRUSSELS / Metropolitan Landscapes : Molenbeek Valley