An alien intervention

At a first glance, it looks as though a giant sculpture by Richard Serra accidentally landed on this square in Schaarbeek, near Brussels. Closer inspection learns that it is in fact a building. Even more so: it is building with rental appartments.
The architect Mario Garzaniti used this oddly wedge-shaped site (with a footprint of about 50 square metres) to redefine the corner between the Koninginnelaan and the Liedtsplein.
In contrast with all the dynamic morphological limits of the surrounding buildings, this social housing block looks rather monolithic. The cladding plays an important role in this aspect: the corten steel is used as facade, wall covering and roof, as well as part of replacable shutters for the windows.

The thing is: the building looks really great. But that's probably the architect in me talking. I appreciate the fact that Mario Garzaniti didn't make any compromises, I appreciate the detailling, I appreciate the look of the weathered corten-steel...
But I just cannot imagine that the building is really appreciated by the target audience for this social housing. Or am I condensending about this? I cannot make up my mind about this building - I'm in doubt between the beautiful architecture and the contextual response to its surroundings...

If you want to read or see more about this project, you might check out this article on A+ (in Dutch), or this thread at pushpullbar (in English).

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