With the concept of substantially greening the largest public square in Flanders, Artgineering together with LAMA and Sweco won this Open Call of the Flemish Government Architect. The Grote Markt will become the ‘Green Market’. Sustainable mobility, local economy, social interaction, dealing with climate change and the unsealing of more than one hectare public space are the starting points of this design.
The urban space will not only be a square, but also a park and garden, without compromising its intensive use as a stage for the weekly market and other events. It will be a place to gather, play soccer, barbecue or picnic as well. A green edge with trees, plantations, water and seating areas frames the wide central area with lawns.
Through traffic is excluded, creating more space for cyclists and pedestrians, and shopkeepers can hence activate the perimeter of the square. As a result, the Grote Markt will be reintegrated into the urban fabric, as a place to meet and stay.
The water features also serve for peak storage, cooling and water filtering, thus acting as a climate regulator for the inner city. The lawn subsides in the south to the underground car park: a first step towards a transformation to a more sustainable infill with a pleasant underground bike parking facility, a coffee bar and a bicycle repair shop.
Place: Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Client: Municipality of Sint-Niklaas
Partners: ALS_O (LAMA, SWECO, Daniel Ost)
Year: 2020 (implementation 2024)