© Abscis Architecten

Service Station Heverlee // Abscis Architecten

Heverlee, Leuven, Belgium

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Text description provided by the architects.

Thelocation of Heverlee Delek creates an oasis in which the traveller/commuter canrelax within a contemporary environment to refuel, shop and eat beforecontinuing their journey. Starting from the E40; a strong infrastructure vein,fast traffic is refined and reduced until finally distilled into quieterparking spaces and picnic areas. These areas visually meander and flow into the surrounding landscape andbeyond.

© Abscis Architecten

© Abscis Architecten

Central to the idea of theplan is a pedestrian axis. This directs traffic to specific areas, solelydedicated for the purpose of rest and relaxation. This ‘walking-axis’ offersthe possibility for users to experience the surroundings and to pleasantlyreach the service station in safety. Byorganising specific service station facilities in a logical and considered way,clarity is expressed; further enhancing the paramount importance of pedestriansafety.

© Abscis Architecten

© Abscis Architecten

All facilities are located conveniently on a service island containingparking spaces. These spaces are located on either side of the service stationforecourt. Thelandscape study showed that this location lies in a spatially and ecologicallyvaluable area, an area that humans have used too often for their own gains.Thedesign goal follows the principles of ecological project management, takinginto account functional demands to:•                 Enable the site to be returned to nature.

© Abscis Architecten

© Abscis Architecten

The design repays nature by makingnew forest clusters where trees once stood•                 Re-establish the continuity of the Egenhoven Forrest•                 Limit the use of impermeable surfaces•                 Minimise the built footprint•                 Realise a compact building volume with a sustainable principle structure and aflexible substructureThearchitecture serves to continue the notion of creating a subtle structure setwithin a rural context.

© Abscis Architecten

© Abscis Architecten

At thecentre of the overall landscape lies the service station. This area is intendedfor refuelling, loading and unloading; it also facilitates a shop, a restaurantand a hotel. The petrol station is separated by a pedestrian path which runsparallel to the traffic flow. Indeed, running transverse to this path, thebuilding is organised in such a way as to allow the traveller to take a stepback from the noise and bustle of the busy highway.The principle building is constructed using a‘superstructure’ consisting of a canopy and a roof.

© Abscis Architecten

© Abscis Architecten

The roof is carried bycolumns made from white concrete. These columns are positioned in a crisscrossformation. Infill modules created in glass, with a negative imprint of leafytrees, slide underneath the super structure to emphasise the transparency ofthe structure set against the white surroundings..

© Abscis Architecten

© Abscis Architecten

Service Station Heverlee Gallery

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