The site lies along the southern plateau of the city center that both frames the urban core and leads directly to the diverse natural landscapes of the region. It presents a unique break in the city fabric, opening up the possibility to link the city culture with the green regional networks. Simultaneously, the city has begun to add a series of cultural spaces on the periphery of the city. This site, lying along the major east west axis of the city, is crucial to providing much needed quality public and cultural space within the urban core. It will increase urban cultural activities, while linking to existing heritage spaces to the recent commercial developments.
The site has a mix of quality heritage buildings and mediocre structures, which currently form a semi public courtyard on part of the site. This spatial quality is kept, enhanced, and extended via the removal of a few key structures in combination with the addition of a series of new buildings. The porosity of the existing courtyard is maintained and linked to a series of newly formed courtyards with varying degrees of private and public atmospheres; thus establishing a sequence of different spatial relationships between the bottom and top of the slope ranging from terraces, a raised deck, steps, roof gardens, rolling hill garden, to a sloped hillside.
The existing courtyard is enriched by forming a punctured two layered court – with cultural spaces below and green spaces on the roof; thereby, literally mixing nature and culture by stacking their spaces and linking them by a series of voids. This rich new culture/nature complex is showcased to the city by renovating an existing structure to create a strong contemporary building face along the main street, which frames a new grand entrance into the layered court space.
Given the complexity of the program: retail, café, cultural spaces, academy, edu-tainment, child care, housing and parking, the design’s sequential spaces and buildings will allow for easy, flexible phasing; thus permitting the development to grow over time as financing and tenants emerge.
educational , cultural, housing, recreational, public space
city of Genk
partner in charge
Hiroki Matsuura, Rients Dijkstra
Rene Sangers, Leena Cho, Ignas Uogintas, Andreas Karavanas, Nobuki Ogasahara