Stokerij Ateliers and Housing, Leuven, Belgium

Stokerij - the Dutch word for ‘distillery’ - Ateliers and Housing are part of the new urban development of the Dijledelta in Leuven. The Ateliers are located on the site of the former Stella Artois brewery, while the residential area is situated in between the former brewery and an old water tower.
The original building of the brewery was a robust brick ruin refined with industrial art-deco details. The design for the renovation and re-development converts the brewery space into creative start-up offices and a penthouse. Initially, this also included studios for artists. Stokerij weaves the new functions through the architectural and industrial qualities of the heritage, strengthening them at the same time. The preservation of the circular steel structure in the arched shed, as a connecting element between the different floors, is a testament to this. 
The massiveness of the building's facades is largely preserved. The building appears robust. The new architecture can be subtly distinguished without being brusque. The original window openings (in their original green colour) are preserved as much as possible, but where new window openings present themselves, they are given a different black-brown colour in order to unmistakably identify the new interventions.
Concerning the residential area: this building houses 35 flats spread over 7 floors. Extraordinarily, the entire circulation for the flats runs along the outside of the building, along bridges and walkways that evoke the atmosphere of an urban street. These ‘streets’ do not only provide access to the apartments, they are also the inner connection with the former brewery. They double as escape routes from the brewery building. Below the housing project, an underground car park is planned, which is also connected to the former brewery.
This urban approach to circulation relates to the industrial era which defines the development. On the ground level, the inner street connects Sluisstraat to the courtyard of the site. On the park side, south oriented apartments feature large windows and terraces, yet the volume remains robust and sober in relation to the surrounding massive industrial buildings. 
Robbrecht en Daem architecten
Offices and apartments
Leuven, Belgium
Floor Area
4.000 m2 + 6.455 m2
Paul Robbrecht, Johannes Robbrecht, Wim Menten, Frédéric De Vylder, Sofie Reynaert, Thomas Faes, Tim Deltour
Project Manager
Luc Van den Wyngaert
Structural Engineering
Arcade Concept Engineering
Services Engineering
Macobo Stabo
Ontwerpbureau Pauwels
Project development