Conversion of a Former DIY Shop into a Public Space and Park by

2023 Residential Project / Belgium / Built in 2018 /

The creation of a new green park space in the centre of Ledeberg (Ghent) is a great asset for the neighbourhood. After all, this is a densely built-up neighbourhood where most local residents do not have a private garden. The green space needs were therefore quickly met.

In the design, the existing central shed of the former DIY shop was transformed into a community centre. After all, there was a great need for a meeting place in the neighbourhood. In the Broederij, people meet each other, farmers’ markets take place or there is room for children’s yoga. The beating heart of the site is the old shed, right across the grounds and the place where many neighbourhood activities can take place. Some four workshops and multipurpose rooms are made available to local residents.

To the north (Hoveniersstraat) and south (Hilarius Bertolfstraat) of the community centre, maximum space has been created for a neighbourhood park. The open green space created invites to play ball or hide and seek…the landscape design is conceived as a chain of different places to discover. In addition, the canopy, built with recovered beams, creates an additional covered park space adjacent to the community centre and the school.

In each park space, three majestic trees, edged by a round concrete bench, form a seating or play area. Adjacent to the wide path and fire brigade entrance, a small bush with a wide wadi is created. Stepping stones provide a playful walk and the many trees provide a place where you can imagine yourself being somewhere else for a while. Many climbing plants, flowering perennials and berry bushes accompany these walks. In the centre of the plan and sheltered between the walls, a vegetable garden is developed and managed by local residents. The walls are greened by a combination of espaliered fruit and climbing plants. By playing with heights and retaining walls, a green stage is created in the centre of the park near the community centre.

The greenery is exuberant, natural and spontaneous and provides enough shade to get through the hot summers. The resulting cooler climate provides natural ventilation throughout the neighbourhood.

Space for water and nature is an essential part of Standaertsite’s landscape design. At city level, the neighbourhood park is a stepping stone for various flora and fauna species: the diversity in planting is achieved by creating a stratification that adds value in every season. The need for water infiltration facilities to maintain the groundwater level and thus not unnecessarily burden the sewers also offers opportunities to create different biotopes: wetter areas for other plant species, a watering place for birds, even play areas.

Local residents use the resulting passages as shortcuts on their daily routes or stop for a picnic. The entire site is wadable for walkers and cyclists. A spacious bicycle shed is located at the entrance Hoveniersstraat. Both entrances are marked by a metal art integration by Marc Nagtzaam on the blind facade of the houses. Climbing plants can use it to further mark the entrances. All edges of the park are finished in a uniform manner by painting the first two metres, thus achieving a calm image: in combination with the applied plantings, the boundaries fade and the design becomes one.

Winner shared provincial architecture prize East Flanders 2019
Winner Belgian Building Awards 2020 in the Mixed Use category 1st laureate
Nomination Architectuurprijs Gent 2021 Nomination Brussels Architecture Prize
2021 Nomination EU MiesAward 2022

Architecture offices involved in the design: AE architects, Murmuur architects, Carton123 architects & H110 Engineers

Location: Ghent, Ledeberg; two entrances: Hoveniersstraat and Hilarius Bertolfstraat
Design year: 2013 – 2015

Year Completed: 2018


LILA 2024 Sponsor