Waalse Krook Gent, Belgian Library Building News, Design Images, Architects

Waalse Krook Gent, Belgium

Belgian Library Building design by UNStudio, Architects

post updated 16 August 2021 ; 3 Feb 2011

Architects: UNStudio

Waalse Krook, Urban Library of the Future and Centre for New Media, Gent, Belgium

The two main aims in the design for the Urban Library of the Future and Centre for New Media in Gent are to create a dynamic, flexible and open knowledge environment, whilst simultaneously strengthening the character of the location with the introduction of a building with a distinct architectural identity.

Waalse Krook Gent Belgian library building design
image © Mir_www.mir.no

Waalse Krook Gent

Sustainability is the guiding factor in the design, based on the conviction that not only must the environmental and user-friendly design of the Urban Library of the Future be able to evolve along with new media, but it must also offer the possibility for future change of use. With an open landscape, spaciousness, extensive views, alternative circulation routes, several meeting areas and a public plaza, the design for the library affords a renewal of its urban context.

Waalse Krook Gent Belgian library building
picture © Mir_www.mir.no

The building is both fluid in form and accommodating to its surroundings. This is evidenced by its appearance – which varies according to the orientation – as well as from the decision to lift the building volume above ground level, thereby creating light, transparency and expansive sightlines.

However the layered structure and low construction volume ensure that the impact of the design on the urban profile is minimal and that views to the characteristic towers of Gent are preserved. The structure also makes it possible to introduce (green) roof terraces whilst also ensuring low levels of direct sunlight penetration.

Waalse Krook Gent Belgium library interior
rendering © Mir_www.mir.no

Based on the functional organisation the volume is lifted in order to create public space around the library. In conjunction with the promenade along the quays, this results in interaction with the surrounding water and thereby the revival of the Waalse Krook.

The internal organisation of the building is based on an open central void, around which the circulation takes place. This internal void enhances the spatial experience and creates clear orientation through the building. In addition to providing an extension of the urban context and the junction of the circulation routes, the internal void also functions as a link between the various functional clusters in the design. The void fulfills a bridging function between the city and the Municipal Library, and as such acts as a metaphor for public perception.

Waalse Krook Gent Waalse Krook Gent Waalse Krook Gent
images © UNStudio

Waalse Krook, Gent, Belgium – Building Information

Client: CVBA Waalse Krook
Location: Gent, Belgium
Building surface: 19.498,6 m2
Programme: Library and Centre for New Media
Status: Competition entry

UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Gerard Loozekoot with Jacques van Wijk, Wesley Lanckriet and Jordan Trachtenberg, Ren Yee, Wendy van der Knijff , Bartek Winnicki, Aurélie Krotoff, Patrik Noome, Marcin Koltunski, Joerg Lonkwitz, Miguel Noë, Imola Berczi, Elena Scripelliti

Structure: ABT, Antwerp and Netherlands
Installations: ABT, Netherlands
Fire: ABT, Antwerp and Netherlands
Costs: ABT, Antwerp and Netherlands
Local architect: Crepain Binst Architecture, Antwerp

Waalse Krook Gent images / information from UNStudio


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