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Martine Pollier
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Bike tour in Ghent #1

What does building higher mean for the Ghent skyline?
13.05 2023

In collaboration with:

With the support of:

There are a lot of substantial building projects in the pipeline in Ghent, both reconversions of old tower blocks and innovative collective buildings are going up high. We take you along for a story about the (future) skyline of Ghent and question what it means to live in a city higher up.

Hera Van Sande

Archipel is organizing a bicycle tour on this theme in collaboration with Team Stadsbouwmeester Gent. Peter Vanden Abeele, the city architect of Ghent, is currently putting the finishing touches to an urban essay “Building tall”.

We look at the city through different eyes. Based on the theses the city architect poses in his urban essay, we will weigh the meaning and potential of building tall or even high-rise in the city of Ghent.

It might not be evident at first sight, but actually Ghent is a city of towers. St. Bavo’s Cathedral, the Belfry and St. Nicholas Church form an attractive trio for the city tourist and characterise the city. Add to that the numerous other churches in Ghent, and on top of that the recently renovated Boekentoren!

We think about whether or not towers are the way to go for Ghent, or whether or not a city should have a vision for high-rise or not, whether or not we need high-rise buildings at all, … and just what is the difference between high-rise and a taller building? What is a good city size for a taller building? What is the right height? Is building taller a solution to the housing crisis? How can we integrate higher buildings into the urban profile without getting bogged down in a game of higher-lower? How can architecture be cleverly used to prioritize affordability through higher buildings?

Carrying these questions on our bike rack, we cycle through Ghent and discuss numerous examples from various point of view. Good or bad? With growing pains or a successful vision?
It is not an architectural bike ride where we will visit buildings inside, but it will be an urban, reflective bike ride taking a different look at the skyline of Ghent.

The tour is scheduled on Saturday afternoon, 13th of May. Register fast and join the ride!

SkYline. Highrise in the Low Countries

Hans Wilschut

This bike tour is in collaboration with the STAM and the *Ghent City Architect * as part of the expo SkYline. Highrise in the Low Countries.

You recognize people by their silhouette, cities by their skyline. In the expo ‘SkYline. High-rise buildings in the Low Countries’, STAM (Stadsmuseum Gent) challenges our – often casual – view of the city. What is behind the erratic lines of stone, steel and glass? And why do we keep building high, higher, highest? SkYline’ is an invitation to stand still and experience. Both inside and outside the expo. During lectures and a bicycle tour, among other things, you can delve deeper into the theme of high-rise. Do, Understand and Watch The SkYline: discover the full programme at ‘SkYline’ runs until May 21, 2023.