The highest possible ecological standard
We share the global concerns concerning the well-being of people and the environment. We are doing all we can to minimise the impact of our activities in order to protect our environment. Uplace’s goal is to be a carbon neutral project and we are aiming for the very ambitious BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certificate, a green standard for construction projects. All aspects of Uplace will have to meet the highest possible standards to achieve this quality label regarding the integration of the buildings, the materials used, the planned energy-saving measures, recycling of raw materials, etc. We shall be keeping a close eye on this, both in the building phase and when the project is up and running.
From grey to green
Uplace will be remediating 11 ha of soil next to the Vilvoorde viaduct, thus bringing a new spark of life to this neglected neighbourhood. This area, known as the Vilvoorde-Machelen Canal Zone, was marked by neglect and pollution for many years after the departure of factories such as Renault, Franki and Bonna Sabla. Now, several decades after the decline of the old industrial site, the Noordrand will be brought to life again through this carefully thought-out societal project.
Focus on multifunctional greenery
Uplace will convert this grey industrial past into a green public area with open-air roof gardens, plazas, streets and squares. Shrubs and plants have been selected specifically for their contribution to the improvement of the air quality and environment surrounding the project and the area.
Strolling through the gardens
Of course, the greenery is more than just functional. It also has a relaxing effect. Immediately after entering Uplace, you will find yourself surrounded by gardens, trees and plants. Just the thing to put you in a good mood! The gardens and greenery in the project were all designed by the well-known landscape designer Wirtz. Stones and greenery blend harmoniously with one another. The design aims to create an open feeling, which is intensified by the open-air pedestrian streets. The architects Benoy and Jaspers-Eyers & Partners have worked with open spaces and squares wherever possible. These spaces will be landscaped with greenery, fountains and ponds.
The courtyards that lie at the end of the pedestrian streets serve as ‘oases’ in the overall concept. They are laid out with dense and varied vegetation, fountains and ponds. Raised plant containers used throughout the project provide depth to the streets and a very pleasant overall appearance. The varied selection of trees and shrubs includes maples, Japanese cherry, ornamental apple, dogwood and magnolias.
Greenery is also very present in the office areas. Inside, the office buildings look out onto green spaces. The offices on Nieuwbrugstraat are accessible through a courtyard.
The spa and wellness area has a transparent facade and looks out onto a south-facing garden, above the shopping area.
There are plans to build a large roof garden, the size of a football pitch. This will be the ideal place to relax in the summer, or let the children play on the rippling grass.
The hotel garden is marked by its elegant and somewhat mysterious character, featuring raised borders and slopes. These borders are landscaped with ornamental grasses. Rolling paths cross the entire area, while freely planted trees and tree shrubs provide the garden with a green and varied aspect, as well as a very attractive lighting effect. Here, too, numerous different varieties will be used.
A project nestling in greenery
Many large trees will be planted on the street surrounding the Uplace buildings. They will emphasise the architecture of the buildings and optimise their integration with the environment. Hedges and shrubs will be planted beneath the trees. The uniform choice of trees will create an atmosphere of tranquillity. Oaks and lime trees have been selected, and the hedges will be comprised of field maple, hornbeam or dogwood.
The buildings will therefore be surrounded by a distinct green framework. The green buffer zone provides the surroundings with a tranquilising effect and ensures optimum integration with the urban structure.