The Grand Hospice - renamed Hospice Pachéco after its merger with an institution founded in the 18th century and installed between 1843 and 1887 on the site of today's Square Jean Jacobs - is the work of architect Henri Partoes. It is a remarkable piece of heritage belonging to the City of Brussels. In anticipation of the major renovation work planned to create a housing and community services complex, the Brussels CPAS decided to make the site available to an operator and an innovative project with a strong social and cultural focus that meets the needs of local residents. A call for projects was launched in early March by the CPAS of the City of Brussels.
A historical heritage
Built in phases between 1824 and 1827, the Grand Hospice comprises a vast quadrilateral measuring 138 metres long by 94 metres wide. Listed since 1997, the two interior gardens on the Hospice Pacheco site are veritable pearls of greenery in this Pentagon district, which has little in the way of green spaces. Designed by architect Partoes, they were redeveloped over the years prior to their classification. The first garden is laid out in the spirit of a landscaped garden, with a few remarkable trees. The design of the second garden, on the other hand, is resolutely more classical.
The Grand Hospice has been marked by a profoundly social history, which our project aims to reconnect with. The challenge is not only to animate the site, but also to open up these new spaces, which were initially conceived as a closed, inward-looking complex, but which must now be reopened to the neighborhood. Its development is built on a triple harmony: aneighborhood harmony, to respond to public space issues; a harmony with nearby facilities, designed to complement each other; and a harmony over time, because the transitional project must be fully aware of the final project, to offer a site identity that will endure after our mission.
A project for the neighborhood
Each new project requires new energies, new synergies to adapt perfectly to the constraints of a new mission. This is why a call for projects on the theme of living together has been launched to fill the spaces. Our team is keen to involve the neighbors and local associations who support the project on a daily basis, so as to create a real culture of proximity. Our local partners, Jeugdhuis Chicago Maison de Jeunes, Comité Alhambra, Chicago back asbl or center LD³ / Het Anker , allhave spaces available for their activities . All this attention to co-construction revolves around the occupants as much as the users.
The projects are divided into four themes: Sustainable Development, Community, Art, and Education & Health. As part of the Call for Projects, we have encouraged target projects to participate in order to build the active core of each theme. Each theme thus becomes a center of gravity within the project, generating its own developments, its own programming, and reinforcing the whole. Collective management is encouraged by an agora that brings together all the projects present on the site.