Project owner: BELIRIS, Owner and manager: Le Foyer Schaerbekois – Brussels, Belgium 01/616
50°51’30.87″ N, 4°22’16.22″ E
4,165 m² total above-ground surface area, 30 apartments.
2014 – 2022 ; (01/616).
An invitation-only competition, winning project.

Services carried out:

• Landscaping
• Architecture
• Interiors
• Structural engineering
• Equipment engineering
• Building physics
• Acoustics
• Project Management
• Cost control
• Restoration of sgraffito


The estate on Rue l’Olivier, built by the architect Henri Jacobs in 1905, blends functionality and aesthetics, and remains almost entirely intact to this day.  The thick load-bearing facade and shear walls give the interiors almost Roman proportions. The balconies and terraces systematically placed between huge masonry towers make the inner courtyard look as if it has been etched by Piranesi.

The project aims to respond to the challenge of making attractive and affordable housing while respecting their heritage, combining grand and cutting-edge design, while at the same time reducing their environmental impact.

With this in mind, the project does not include lifts, due to the construction and maintenance costs this would entail. This decision was crucial in determining the layout of the apartments.

The original 50 small apartments have been refashioned into 30 more spacious ones, as per current standards, in 9 different types.

The 20 apartments on the 3rd and 4th floors have been combined to create 10 duplexes. The 20 other apartments on the other floors are all on one level (+0, +1, +2). Finally, two apartments for those with reduced mobility have been created on the ground floor of the two road-facing buildings.

On this same level, the apartments on either side of the central passage have been removed to create communal and reception spaces for the entire site. There are two entrance halls, letter boxes, bike racks, a pushchair park and an area for bins. These areas can be accessed through two new entrance ways in the cavities in the two gables in the central passage.

All residents therefore enter via this central passage. A semi-public space is thus created, strengthening the sense of belonging to an urban community.


The impressive ironwork staircases have been restored and kept as entry and fire exit stairs, keeping the backbone of the buildings and access ways.

External modifications

The original dimensions have been retained, apart from the changes made to the 4 bow-window terraces on the ground floor at the 4 darkest points of the courtyard.

The facades with a heritage interest have been preserved and identically restored, and in these cases, have been insulated from inside. 

The facades with no heritage interest, the adjoining gables and the rear South-facing facade of the Southern block have been insulated externally and rendered.

The balconies looking out over the central courtyard have been restored and retain their original function as external terraces. The competition project provided for them to be enclosed by a taut stainless steel mesh which provides visual harmony and protects the terraces against pigeons and intrusions, and act as safety guards. These meshes can also act as guides for climbing plants. They are finally not installed following the contrary opinion of the various authorities issuing the planning permit.

New steel and grey glass canopies have been placed over the top floor terraces, replacing the previous polycarbonate canopies.

The frames have all been replaced. They are now made of wood in its original colour and are fitted with triple glazing.  They adhere to the original divisions and the specifics of the glass on the road-side stair cages.

Natural light

To improve the amount of natural light, bright colours have been used liberally, both inside and out. The inner window openings have been fitted with mirrors to increase the reflection of light. The spandrels of the South facade of the rear block have all been removed from the upper floors and the bay windows have been enlarged to allow more natural light to enter.

Energy efficient design

The energy criteria established for this project are based on the EPB (Energy Performance of Buildings) regulations with a net heat requirement (NHR) of less than 18 kWh/m².year and a primary energy consumption (PEC) of less than 70 kWh/m². year. The design strategy set out and fits particularly well with the new regulatory framework for the energy efficiency of buildings relating to the EPB 2015, which encourages designers to focus on overall efficiency.

As a priority, the energy requirements of the building have been reduced, mainly thanks to the choices made regarding containment (internal or external insulation depending on heritage interest, new triple glazing frames, optimised air tight features, elimination of thermal bridges, etc.).

Moreover, free sources of energy have been enhanced (direct sunlight, solar and thermal energy panels, etc.).

Finally, technical systems are optimised in accordance with remaining energy requirements (a single gas condensing boiler connected to thermal panels on the roof; low temperature radiators; plate heat exchanger to recover energy in extracted air with a yield higher than 75%, etc.)


The sgraffito has been restored.  It is a case of keeping as much as possible of the original material and designs by consolidating them and supplementing the missing parts with identical materials, ensuring that the sgraffito is preserved in the future. A new sgraffito has been created using a contemporary composition to replace the sgraffito decorating number 30, which had completely disappeared. 



Maître d’ouvrage : BELIRIS, rue du Gouvernement Provisoire n°9-15, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgique.

Propriétaire et gestionnaire : Le Foyer Schaerbeekois, rue de la Consolation n°70, Schaerbeek 1030 Schaerbeek, Bruxelles, Belgique.


Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS sprl, architects & engineers          Philippe Samyn

Chaussée de Waterloo, 1537   B-1180 Bruxelles                               Propriétaire  exclusif des droits d’auteur (copyright)

Tél. + 32 2 374  90 60       Fax + 32 2 374 75 50

E-mail: sai@samynandpartners.com,




Design Partner                         :            Dr Ir Philippe Samyn.

Partner en charge                  :            Quentin Steyaert.

Collaborateurs                        :            Gabriel BALTARIU, Gunhi Boar SILVA BATICAM, Mariuca CALIN,  Mirela GANCHEVA,  Nacer HOSNA, Giulia LORINI, Serge NKAKA,  Paolo RUARO, Fulvio SERPONE, Natasha ZAEVA.


Techniques spéciales             :            Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS sprl, architects & engineers,

                                                               avec FLOW TRANSFER INTERNATIONAL sa (sous-traitant)

                                                               Frédéric MICHAUX.

                                                               Rue du Ham, 137 – 1180 Bruxelles, Belgique     

                                                               Tel. : +32 2 375 75 40

                                                               E-mail : info@fti-sa.be


Stabilité                                    :            Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS sprl, architects & engineers,

                                                               jusqu’au 2018-09-01 :

                                                               avec INGENIEURSBUREAU MEIJER bvba (sous-traitant)

                                                               Thomas PERARNAU,

                                                               Prins Boudewijnlaan, 53/2 – 2650 Edegem, Belgique

                                                               Tel. : +32 3 448 25 00

                                                               E-mail : info@meijer.be

                                                               à partir du 2018-09-01 :

                                                               avec ingenieursbureau Ben VERBEECK en Partners bvba

                                                               Herman Ullenslei 9 – 2640 Mortsel, Belgique

                                                               Tel. : +32 477 633 544

                                                               E-mail : ben@benverbeeck.eu


avec en  sous-traitance également :

Physique du bâtiment

et énergie, PEB                        :            NEO & IDES

                                                               Bruno BUSCH, Cédric TREVISAN.
Rue des Chasseurs Ardennais, 3 –  4031 Liège (Angleur), Belgique

                                                               Tel. : +32 4 366 00 17

                                                               E-mail : info@neo-ides.be


Acoustique                              :            ACOUSTIC TECHNOLOGIES sa

                                                               Jean-Pierre Clerbois, Simon Hamard.

                                                               Avenue Brugmann,  215 – 1050 Bruxelles, Belgique

                                                               Tel. :+32 02 344 85 85 
E-mail : mail@atech-acoustictechnologies.com

Restauration des sgraffites     :            Christine Bertrand.

                                                               Rue de la Baraque 127b – Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgique

                                                               Tel. :+32-10-45 48 31

                                                               E-mail : canela@skynet.be

Etudes de désamiantage      :            VINÇOTTE nv

                                                               Danny VERSICHELE, Véronique VANZEIR.

                                                               Jan Olieslagerslaan 35 – 1800 Vilvoorde

                                                               Tel. :+32-2-674 57 11

                                                               E-mail : brussels@vinçotte.be

                                                               à partir du 2018-08-03 :

                                                               SECO Belgium sa

                                                               Danny SEGERS.

                                                               Rue d’Arlon 53 – 1040 Bruxelles

                                                               Tel. :+32-2-238 22 11

                                                               E-mail : mail@seco.be



en contrat direct avec le Maitre d’ouvrage :

Coordinateur santé et sécurité :        SGI ingénieurs (SGI), 17 rue Jean Sonet –  5032 Isnes

                                                               COSEP, 5, rue du Fond Cattelain – B-1435 Mont-Saint-Guibert

Bureau de contrôle (gros-œuvre fermé et sécurité incendie) :

                                                               SOCOTEC Belgium sprl, 8 av. du Dirigeable  – 1170 Bruxelles.



Entrepreneur général :                         A.M. PHENICKS – DE COCK, Rue Tienne Bricout 15/021 – 6001 Marcinelle, www.phenicks.be, 071 50 64 11.

Désamiantage :                                   SBMI SA, Route de Wallonie, 4b – 7011 Ghlin,  www.sbmi.be.

Démolitions :                                         Andalousie Construct sprl, Avenue Frans Courten 131 – 1030 Schaerbeek.

                                                               DMA & CO sprl, Grand Rue 156 – 6000 Charleroi.

                                                               SD Bati sprl, Avenue Docteur Lemoine 11 – 1070 Anderlecht.

                                                               DB construct, Rue de la Science 42 – 6000 Charleroi.

Gros œuvre (fermeture dalle) :          FLC-Construct sprl, Rue de Mérode 225 – 1190 Forest.

Cloisons :                                               GWC (Global Work Company),  Place Lt Graff 15 – 1780 Wemmel.

                                                               Bat Construct, Bergensesteenweg 421 bus 13 – 1600 Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.

Menuiseries extérieures :                      Pierret Project sa, Le Cerisier 10 – Zoning industriel – 6890 Transinne.

Menuisieries intérieures bois :              Menuiserie Goblet, rue du Quambeau 67 – 5580 Fernelmont.

                                                               NCV, Rue du Villageois 125 – 1160 Bruxelles.

Escaliers bois :                                       Hallet Brembati, Rue des Marlaires, 11 A – 6230 Thiméon.

                                                               L’Aire du Bois, Rue du Fayt 190 – 6200 Châtelet.

Ferronneries :                                        Aux professionnels, Avenue Docteur Lemoine 11/4 – 1070 Anderlecht.

                                                               Phoenix Metal Works, Rue des Linottes, 8 à 5100 Nannine.

Ferroneries intérieures restauration :  CCS BATI, Rue J. Rouyer 53 – 4460 Grâce-Hollogne.

Ferronneries traditionelles :                 Ferronnerie Anto, Charleroistraat 25 Bte 0505 – 8670 Koksijde.

Crépi de façade :                                Faderi, Brusselsesteenweg 489 B – 9090 Melle, www.faderi.be,  09 232 21 21.

Sgraffites :                                              Emma Van Dijk, Tolstraat 20 – 2000 Antwerpen, 0484 487 194.

Peintures :                                              Laurenty Bâtiments SA, rue de l’Avenir 26 –  4460 Grâce-Hollogne.

Peintures Rf :                                         Lonanti, rue Pré des Haz 48/8 – 5060 Tamines.

Chapes :                                               Carrobel, Industrielaan 40 – 1740 Ternat, www.carrobel.be.

Chapes isolantes :                                Isofloor, Assesteenweg 117 Boîte B – 1740 Ternat.

Cloisons  et faux-plafonds                  Eagle Construction, Lozenberg 21 – 1932 Zaventem.

Pose Linoléum :                                     Sepcco sa, Avenue des Casernes 41A – 1040 Etterbeek, 02 648 54 64.

Sols industiels :                                      Planifloor, rue de la Tour 3 – 4801 Stembert.

Carrelages :                                          SB Chape, rue de Cornaye 5 – 5650 Fraire.

Pose des plinthes :                               APS, Rue des Fonds Coppée 13 – 7100 – Haine-Saint-Paul.

Toitures plates :                                     Tectum Dekkers NV, Onafhankelijkheidstraat 51 -1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean,

                                                               02 410 05 90.

Toitures végétales :                              EMC Greenroofs, Industriestraat 37 –  8755 Ruiselede, 051 79 77 46.

Electricité :                                            Delberghe Electro, rue du Marvis 20 – 7500 Tournai, 069 77 73 66.

HVAC, Sanitaires :                                STA BTP, Route de Charlemagne 7 – 6464 Chimay, www.statechnique.be,

Cuisines :                                               Lions Realty, rue du Vieux Chêne 64/4 – 5651 Gourdinne.

Thermographies-infiltrométries :         Sofistes, rue de Tournai 74 – 7604 Callenelle, 069 46 55 10.



Gestion documentation        :            Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS (A. CHARON et Q. OLBRECHTS).

Location :
Pictures :

For plans sections and elevations, please refer to the archives section of the site available from the “references” menu.