a collaboration with Lllabo


The practice of contemporary architecture has to face considerable changes to adapt to the new global conditions. Our team is placed in two distant localities, Kortrijk and Tokyo, an architecture practice, and an architectural research lab. Though architecture is our common ground, and tool of communication, we are deeply motivated and interested in making places for this generation of unlimited diversity, connections and relations.

Under the Eurometropole structure the city of Kortrijk is already engaged in abolishing the political and administrative territorial obstacles to benefit fully from a cultural diversity. Deeply assured that trans-border cooperation can only bring easiness to the life of its inhabitants. As a collaborative team from  Kortrijk and Tokyo, we propose to add a new layer of relations on Kortrijk’s urban construction. We see in Kortrijk’s transformation the prehension for some cross-fertilization with a not so distant Tokyo urban fabric structure.

BRO broel.jpg

Not afraid to experiment, or of unprecedented projects, the city opened its grounds to the innovations and sensibilities of internationally acclaimed designers, architects, landscape designers, engineers and more. Putting its trust in their competences to not only decorate the city but to participate actively in the making of Kortrijk as desirable place where people are free to their thing: live, work, do business, visit, spend time, etc.
Embracing the creative, transnational, networking society of the 21st century, Kortrijk realizes that things need to evolve, in this spirit we too we believe.



At the physical structure of the city the urban fabric is permeated by a network of parks, and gardens. Like green pockets interlaced into the city’s built environment, the city’s fabric appeared to us as a porous entity allowing space for free flowing and leisure This porous character became the motor for our architectural proposal.


The porous urban fabric of Kortrijk is also a typical aspect of Tokyo's urban fabric.

vroel entrance


Situated at the cross-point of a green axis along the Leie and an axis of historical monuments, the Broelkant site needs to respond to the flows passing around. To benefit from the surrounding animation that these elements attract, we imagine the Broelkant site as a public space linking those various attraction points.

Aside from the proximity to important landmark points of the city we believe that to activate a housing project of such scale, the call for interpenetration with the public sphere is important to the liveliness of the design.

At the scale of a city block, we observed another facet of Kortrijk’s urban porosity: the accessibility to the hearth of block.


project: BROEL

team: de baes, LLLABO & cnockaert (joris de baes, thekla boven, jullian worrall, filip cnockaert, marta galiana, rikuro sakuashi)

location: Kortrijk, Belgium

status: competition

year: 2013

program: property development