Site: MOL-26

Hmm… I do not see it as demanding. They set their own deadline, it is not imposed by us. Once they have set it, respecting it fulfills a need for predictability, in order to be able to organize out own work. I am not sure I can work long term with “it’s ready when it’s ready”.

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Oki, I see two needs here: 1) trust and ease of collaboration with the architects, and 2) predictability. These should not be contradictory, so I would propose to add it as a general point for the next meeting with the architects.

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Hi @reeflings , here the last proton email from François (architect)
Bonjour The Reef,
Ce mail pour vous informer que nous avons fixé un rendez-vous mercredi prochain (21/02) à 15h00, avec l’urbanisme de Molenbeek.
Si un représentant de The Reef souhaite venir …
Belle journée
françois

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Hi @reeflings !
Today we – with the architect, François - met the Commune of Molenbeek regarding the project for the site MOL 26. Here is a sum-up of the things that have been said and that you might want to know.
The Commune is globally in favor of this project, as it was explained by the nice hand sketch, thought its industrial heritage might make the process slightly more complex. They reminded us some of the core values of Molenbeek Municipality that have an impact on projects :

  • About the program: Molenbeek (and Brussels Region to some extend) is not very pro 100% residential developments. The « productive » vocation of the neighborhoods in the valley must somehow remain, especially on former industrial sites like this one.
    Therefore they recommend that we introduce more activities that can benefit the neighborhood, since the existing wood ateliers are not counting as part of our project.
    The project showed by our architects is already suggesting to have some ateliers in a part of the site, as you will discover when we recieve the feasibility study.
    The question about « who will (co)invest in these ateliers » is to be deeper researched.

  • About the vegetalisation/densification: over densification of building plots (meaning buildings high constructions, adding housing units in the middle of the plot, etc…). The actual proposal seems very reasonable and qualitative for them, they like the big garden and the idea of green roofs with potagers.

  • About the heritage: this is a very important characteristic of the site, we must verify if some parts are not being added in the moment to the protected patrimoine of Brussels, and meet URBAN.brussels to present them the project. One of the key challenges will be to see how to enlighten this feature.

  • About the integration in the neighborhood: since this is a particular site, with a strong historic background, the Region/Commune will certainly demand that the project doesn’t privatize it all, and somehow « gives back » something to the neighborhood.
    The possibilities of having inclusive units definitely give good points to the project.
    Having a public path crossing the site is not especially recommended, but letting a small part accessible for the public for time to time (next to the ateliers for example) would be a plus.

  • About the parking: they agree to derogate to the RRU (Règlement Régional d’Urbanisme) and let us not have 1 parking plot per household: this is normally obligatory, but that would mean building an underground parking, which raises highly the costs of the project. To be defined if we can reach max 0,5 parking per household.

They also reminded us to present The Reef, our goal and values, while meeting the public instances: indeed this would always weight in our favor, since we don’t have a commercial intention (they really don’t like promoters so much haha… They asked if we intention to sell units.) and since we want here to build a sustainable, inclusive project.
It must be determined whether the project will imply a regional or a municipal permit, and from that point it would be clearer what the next steps are.

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thank you for this debrief.one idea i drop here :bulb:… to convince the public authorities to reduce the rate of car park per household is to introduce car/bike sharing spots in the project. …that are open to everyone(platform clients,cambio,etc)

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Update from the architects (ref: email 22/02 “Jette!”):

Le site de Molenbeek (Patrimoine, mixité de fonction, parking, pollution du sol…), est très complexe, cela prendra pas mal de temps pour finaliser une étude de faisabilité. C’est un projet assez (trop?) risqué. Même si cela ferait un projet très excitant.

So they are now focussing on the site in Jette, but they are also continuing to work on MOL-26. When we find a moment we’ll ask why they believe this still makes sense.