Houtmarkt

Kortrijk Belgium

The Houtmarkt in Kortrijk comprises three subprojects: the demolition/new construction of the residential care centre St. Vincent, the construction of an underground parking garage with 160 spaces, and the reconstruction of the Houtmarkt and Lange Brugstraat; with three different clients: the City of Kortrijk, Parko agb and St. Vincent. The competition was won by the partnership of OKRA Landschapsarchitecten, Zwarts & Jansma Architects and SBE Raadgevende Ingenieurs. The design focuses on the historical significance of the Houtmarkt.

Attractive city square

Fascinatingly, the Houtmarkt itself is part of the edge of the 17th-century city centre, while various elements in the surroundings emphatically bear the signature of the 19th-century belt. In the design, this historical stratification is the concept for a high-quality, attractive and livable city square of the 21st century. The plan focuses on a strong interaction between monumental buildings on the square and the central open space.

Space for discovery and stay

The result is an attractive meeting space in the inner-city fabric. The green appearance of the Houtmarkt has added a link to the green belt with Het Plein and the Begijnhofpark. The place is both a front garden for those living in the immediate vicinity and a welcoming access square to the historic city centre.