Lange schipstraat

Mechelen Belgium

Break in urban fabric

For Mechelen the Dyle River has been of great importance in the history of the city. It functioned as a major transportation artery and therefore most trade and businesses were located along the banks. Today, the river forms a crack in the fabric of the city and the Lange Schipstraat had turned it back to the water. This combined of run down street and the lack of identity, were the reasons to redevelop the Lange Schipstraat.

Curved Route

The tide has now turned and the city finds its way back to embracing the Dyle riverfront. OKRA designed a route, characterised by the curved form originating from the meandering course of the Dyle and the canals. A continuous street offers a tranquil base to which the two small squares are linked. Two existing former warehouses are given a stronger address to the street and function as major landmarks. Former shiploads, of which were stored in these warehouses, are represented by a grid pattern of trees, planting elements and seating objects.

A Place to Rest

The Lange Schipstraat is revived and activity has returned along the banks of the Dyle. The warehouses are now a place to stay in the street. Where passersby can look out over the river in the shadows of the city, in the sun, or from under the old lime trees.