Office Omgeving fills in ‘unspoken’ in an idiosyncratic way and looks for secret (unspoken) messages that they like to put in their projects: a layer of meaning that was not requested by the client, but which is considered valuable to be integrated according to their craftmanship. We travel a full day along the axis Vilvoorde-Mechelen to actually feel and experience this mission in various projects that have been carried out, to focus on the necessary relationship between city and nature.
Winkelas en Grote Markt – Vilvoorde (2016-2018)
Bringing the parking spaces underground on the Grote Markt is the reason to consider the role and identity of the main square of the city of Vilvoorde. The square has the potential to once again become a meeting place in the city, with good connections to the shopping streets in the immediate vicinity.
The design is a guide to how the Grote Markt can become a real residential space that can compete with covered shopping centres. It is precisely for this reason that a grand gesture in the form of a city canopy is introduced to strengthen the historical framework of the square with a contemporary architectural interpretation that makes a visit unforgettable. This intervention, supplemented with a large water element, sufficient seating, new trees and expansion of the existing terraces, makes the Grote Markt again the meeting place in the city where all kinds of activities can take place, but also makes the square attractive when it is empty.
Leuvensestraat, Varkensmarkt, Guldenschaapstraat – Vilvoorde (2014-2016)
The redevelopment of Leuvensestraat, Varkensmarkt and Guldenschaapstraat, the main shopping streets in the centre of Vilvoorde, represents an important first quality impulse in which the principles of the public domain master plan (OMGEVING, 2011) have been applied. The design focuses on comfort for pedestrians and cyclists by introducing a uniform, high-quality public space from facade to facade. Specially designed granite strips form a sustainable urban floor, in which a central row of traffic can accommodate loading and unloading traffic. Parking spaces are being replaced by trees, benches, lighting posts and bicycle sheds, selected according to a uniform house style and colour composition.
OMGEVING has taken advantage of the renewal of the centre to string together the entire centre, which is characterized by a great diversity of architectural styles and ages, through a consistently designed, high-quality, but modest public space. The interior brings quality and tranquility to the street scene and ensures identity and cohesion.
Park Speecqvest – Mechelen (2015-2019)
In the context of the redevelopment of the Mechelen station area, “de Tangent” between E19 and N15 will take over the flow function of the southern part of R12, also known as the Vesten, in Mechelen. As a result, the Vesten can act as a distribution road for local traffic. This new role frees up space for a pleasant public living space with a restored balance between residential quality and the traffic function, in particular the role as a high-quality carrier of public transport.
Commissioned by the city of Mechelen, OMGEVING developed an ambitious plan for Hendrik Speecqvest between Raghenoplein and Kardinaal Mercierplein. The underground car park with 350 parking spaces in front of Bruul, the city’s main shopping street, is fully integrated into the central park. After realization of the Tangent in the station area, the future transformation of the southern Vesten into a single Vesten park will be further investigated.
This assignment is the first realization of the target image of the vests that OMGEVING and Mint have drawn up on behalf of the Roads and Traffic Agency. Hendrik Speecqvest was the first part of the new Vests to be officially opened in 2019.
Zandpoortvest – Mechelen (2013-2018)
The Vlaamse Waterweg nv and the city of Mechelen have together fulfilled the ambition to reopen the Binnendijle at Zandpoortvest. OMGEVING’s redevelopment proposal focuses on a casual experience and use of the Binnendijleoevers.
On the southern side of the exposed Dyle, the redeveloped slope in granite strips offers a beautiful view of a gentle, flowery slope. On this side, the transit function takes precedence over the residence function. A large solitary tree along the vestiges marks the green character of this place.
On the northern side of the Dyle, a number of gracious trees have been planted informally on the new entrance square in front of the university building. Natural stone steps lead from this square space to a sunken platform. This lower square is flanked by steps that extend over the full length of the exposed watercourse. The steps offer an attractive seating area along the water and border the green embankment with adjacent ecological bank zone.
Goswin de Stassaertstraat – Mechelen (2014-2017)
The redevelopment of the Goswin De Stassartstraat, Stoutetstraat and the surroundings of the Sint-Janskerk is the final piece of important interventions in the public space of the centre of Mechelen. Goswin De Stassartstraat connects the heart of the city, the Wollemarkt next to St. Rumbold’s Cathedral and the conscience of the city, the Dossin barracks on the Vesten. Goswin De Stassartstraat is the backbone between these two places with in between important and picturesque streets such as Schoutetstraat and Sint-Janstraat with the surroundings of the Sint-Janskerk and access to the Hof van Busleyden museum.
Goswin De Stassartstraat has an important function in opening up the city. Together with the Sint-Katelijnestraat, this street is an important part of the parking loop in this part of the city and therefore functions as a calling card for the city. The street is also flanked by some very beautiful old and new town houses.
Tinelpark – Mechelen (2011-2018)
The Tinel site tells many stories. Situated on the side arm of the Dyle, the site was for a long time part of the Predikerenklooster, which was later converted into army barracks next to the Dossin barracks. Based on a master plan by De Smet Vermeulen Architects, the district will be upgraded with new urban facilities, such as a new library (Hild und K Architekten in collaboration with Stuhlmacher Architecten), an underground parking garage, new homes and a youth centre. The new Holocaust museum (AWG Architecten) at the head of the site opened at the end of 2012.
Public space plays an important role in the project. In the design, the atmosphere and use of the ceremonial space in front of the Dossin barracks varies, to an open public park space between the museum and the library and a green space with sports and games facilities for the neighbourhood. The design is realized in an extensive participation process with local residents, future users and the architects involved.
The public space is implemented in six different phases. The first two phases were completed in early 2013.
Copyright and text: website office Omgeving
Sa 04 July 2020 — 13:00