A coalition of residents takes matters into their own hands for their affordable house

Brutopia in the Brussels municipality of Vorst/Forest is a residential housing block developed by a group of twenty-nine families wanting an affordable sustainable dwelling in Brussels. By acquiring the land together, developing it without a developer company and finishing it as much as possible by themselves, the cost of the project stayed below market price. The Brutopia non-profit association signed the purchase. After the building permit and the basic deed, each resident bought his or her own share. The private units were designed by stekke + fraas to suit each family’s living requirements (between 71 m2 and 165 m2) with an important difference in the price weighting of the units, thus creating great diversity in the group. The private residences are connected via an outdoor corridor and the families share a common garden. The ground floor is reserved for the offices of several architectural firms, the public centre for social welfare, and a multipurpose room with a neighbourhood kitchen operated by the local service centre. During office hours, the latter can use the garden and residents can use the kitchen.

partners and actors
stekke + fraas, brutopia npo
innovative aspects
ownership, financing

Affordable housing in Brussels

photo: Peggy Totté, 2020

Brutopia / stekke + fraas

photo: Archdaily, 2015