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A Happy Place:
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Placemaking Events

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On Wednesday 29.9.2021 an inauguration of the Phase 1 of the project took place on the Pieremans Playground. Under the lead of Chloé Saelens the team finished the first part of the painting on

Posted on 21/09/29


Within the framework of the transformation of the Pieremans playground, Alive Architecture in collaboration with BRAVVO organized four workshops throughout June 2021 to test the ideas observed during

Posted on 21/07/07


Within the framework of A Happy Place activity and the transformation of the Pieremans playground, Alive Architecture in collaboration with BRAVVO organized four workshops throughout April 2021 to co-

Posted on 21/05/06

Brussels is a vibrant city of “super-diverse” citizens from different cultures and social backgrounds. One of its most historical but also popular neighbourhoods is the so-called “Marolles”. The district has always welcomed the most disadvantaged inhabitants of the capital but also those who aspire to freedom and art. It is a neighbourhood where the first citizen movement fought for a respectful renovation of the urban and social fabric. One third of the dwellings in the Marolles are social housings.

Through the action plan “Contrat de quartier durable Marolles”, that aims to improve the living environment in the neighborhood, (https://www.bruxelles.be/marolles) the city of Brussels launched a call for the socio-economic project ‘Valorisation of the Public Spaces’ in the open space of two social housing complexes, both managed by the institution of Brussels Housing (https://logementbruxellois.be/). Alive Architecture in collaboration with BRAVVO, the Prevention Service of the City of Brussels, won this competition. Together they are developing the project in order to allow the inhabitants and other participants to re-appropriate the neglected Pieremans playground and generate use in the alleys of the Cité Hellemans.

Within this context Alive Architecture and BRAVVO co-transformed both sites into pleasant spaces where locals can meet and develop a sense of belonging.


While in 2021 the focus was upon co-producing transformations on the Pieremans playground, in 2022 the team will expand the project towards the alleys of the Cité Hellemans.

On the Pieremans playground, Alive Architecture and BRAVVO organized in total 10 events between April 2021 and September 2021.  During 4 co-design workshops in April 2021 they observed the needs and identified the desires of the inhabitants and the opportunities that the site offered. During 5 co-production workshops between June 2021 and August 2021 they painted the ground and constructed a temporary gate to test this option to avoid children running on the street. On Wednesday 29.9.2021 the inauguration of the first phase of the project took place.

In the alleys of the 'Cité Hellemans', the team will organize in total 8 activities of which 4 will take place in April and 4 will take place in June, focussing upon the ‘Cité Hellemans’. Given the protected character of the site (it is part of a historical heritage), the activities organized here in 2022 will be temporary. Therefore, besides some balcony planters, the interventions will not leave a permanent trace in the alleys. In parallel, some permanent transformations on the Pieremans Playground will be realized, building upon the participative process that took place there in 2021.


In accordance with the objectives of the A-Place project, the purpose of the planned activities is:

To develop and apply creative placemaking practices which will allow for the reappropriation of the Pieremans playground and the streets of Cité Hellemans. A process of co-design and co-production will allow participants to generate a feeling of belonging. As such the creativity will have a role throughout the process as well as in the output that aims to change the image of the site from an underused space into a user-friendly space with a specific focus on children and their parents.

The activity enhances intercultural dialogue between inhabitants, more specifically of the children, their parents and the young population inhabiting the social housing complexes. The team intends to co-construct the interventions for the children together with them but also with the young population of the district. This approach will hopefully generate encounter and respect between both and as such transform the playground during the process into a space of encounter among people from different generations.

The activity aims to generate capacity building by involving the children as well as young generation into the socio-urban transformation, first of all during the process of co-design and later the co-construction of the project. Those might be planting on the ground, building bird houses, painting eventual interventions or else.

The activity will contribute to generate links with partners. First of all, AHappyPlace will generate a link on the topic of play that is investigated by the partner Prostoroz through their foreseen activity in Ljubljana in 2021. An additional link are the activities dedicated to planting and as such connect to the collective socio-spatial activity that is investigated by the partner Urban Guerillas through their approach of placemaking within the A-Place project. Finally, the team is currently discussing to welcome the A-Place partners in Brussels for the inauguration on 24.6.2022 and as such create, in collaboration with the KU Leuven, a framework for the Joint Place 2022 in Brussels.

Other files:


Contrat de Quartier durable 'Les Marolles' / Duurzame Wijkcontract 'De Marollen': https://www.bruxelles.be/marolles

BRAVVO: https://bravvo.bruxelles.be

Social Housing Institution: https://logementbruxellois.be





If you would like  to have more information about these placemaking activities, please contact: Petra Pferdmenges: petra@alivearchitecture.eu


This project is co-funded by the City of Brussels within the context of the socio-economic activities of the Contrat de Quartier durable 'Les Marolles' / Duurzame Wijkcontract 'De Marollen' and co-mananged by BRAVVO, the prevention service of the City of Brussels. For further information please contact: Ghazaleh Haghdad: ghazaleh.haghdad@brucity.be



Institutions: Brussels Housing (Logement Bruxellois / Brussel Woningen)

Brussels Housing Institution is the manager of several social housing blocs within the city of Brussels, including both social housing complexes of the project and the playground itself


Inhabitants: Social housing blocs & more

The project intends to reach the inhabitants of both social housing complexes with a specific attention upon the young population. Involving them actively into the process may improve not only the image of the site but also the respect for this fragile part of inhabitants.