Parc de la Senne

La Compagnie du Paysage: This linear park located in the heart of the Masui district is today the only free space available to the municipalities of Brussels and Schaerbeek to develop a key public space in the district. This precious space has been earmarked to become an attractive and sociable location. The project, located over the bed of the covered River Senne, has a twofold purpose. With its existing network of vegetation, it will reinforce both the district’s identity and the Brussels-Capital Region’s green network, linking the Laeken district with the Parc du 21 Juillet.

This public space is currently characterised by numerous interruptions, due in particular to being crossed by Rue Masui, Avenue de la Reine and Rue du Palais.

Our team has therefore worked on a design to restore the natural environment, enhancing the regional biodiversity in this linear park which extends through four sequences. This approach enables a variety of different atmospheres to be created in line with the park’s uses and the activities that take place in it and represents a perfect response to the concerns of sustainable development.

Four main sequences are proposed

The ‘Natural Senne’ sequence: structured around a mainly residential sector, this sequence will be characterised by lush greenery, significantly enhancing the presence of vegetation in the district. The Parc de la Senne will thus become the green lung and location of choice for the development of biodiversity.

The ‘Playful Senne’ sequence: this was another aspect that was deliberately included in this urban area. The playing of children and other activities for which provision is made here will be less likely to cause any noise nuisance. Positioned at a point where most of the building façades are windowless, the playgrounds will be developed in two dimensions: the existing walls will be used as backdrops for graphic decoration or as climbing walls as an extra facility for local children.

The ‘Senne Garden Square’ sequence: The position of this sequence amid some busy urban areas is emphasised by its being intersected by infrastructure and public facilities. These settings already serve as meeting places and points of convergence; they are being developed as garden squares to support their twofold function as a transitional space and a place for sitting down. These garden squares clearly announce their intended purpose as spaces of intergenerational social contact at the heart of the Masui district.

The ‘Cultivated Senne’ sequence: community vegetable gardens are laid out here in sets of terraces, and reinforce the connection towards Parc du 21 juillet. Their south/west exposure makes this a high-quality growing environment yielding constant returns as an extra resource for low-income households in the local area.

Short office name: La Compagnie du Paysage


Role of your office in the project: Landscape Architects (Lead Company – Full project management, scheduling, overseeing and coordination of urban development (OPCU), full participatory process)

Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Montois Partners (architects), Infra Services (roads and utilities), Agence ON (lighting design), Cabinet Gerphau (urban sociology), HSP (legal experts)

Contracting authority: Brussels Institute for the Management of the Environment (IBGE-BIM)

Project location: Heliport Avenue, Brussels, Belgium

Area: Linear measurement 1.6 km

Works budget: €7.2m excl. tax

Design year: 2012/2015 for Section 1 – 2012/2016 for Sections 2&3 – 2012/2017 for Section 4

Year Built: 2015/2016 for Section 1 – 2013/2022 for Sections 2&3 – Section 4 to be done

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