Spatial connectivity assessment of the Dethy house

A BIM-plugin generates graphs to visualise how the rooms are connected (c) François Denis

In Brussels, it's not rare to see buildings being demolished less than 60 years after completion or remaining vacant for years. In some cases, the plan layout of the building and the connectivity of the spaces were designed for a specific function: they do not fit for the evolving needs of their users. To maximise the functionality of the building, designers can create general plan layouts giving easy access to rooms and allowing different uses. Further, they can include some adaptable wall partitions, that grant the possibility to reconfigure the space some years after completion without consuming too much materials. Designing for generality and adaptability was a central aspect in the Dethy house transformation project (Saint-Gilles, Brussels) by architect Lionel Bousquet (BXLMRS). In this project, VUB architectural engineering quantified the connectivity of spaces using the SAGA method. Concrete design recommendations were formulated to improve the generality and adaptability of the plan layout, and to maximise its functionality on the long term.