All projects
Village centre transformation · Gullegem, Belgium

More space for people and nature

Integrated approach for a new centre with space for residents and nature


The centre of Gullegem is undergoing an inspiring transformation. A combined intervention will provide the area with more space for residents and their activities. It also strengthens the character and identity of the place. However, above all it focuses on creating more space for nature. This creates a future-proof dynamic climate-adaptive heart of the village.

Gullegem, Belgium
In progress
2023 - ongoing
Project area
3,4 ha
Flanders Environment Agency
Dierendonckblank architecten, Veldhuis architectuur, Atelier Ruimtelijk Advies
Co-creation project with local residents
The new plan

Clever combinations

The design team, in collaboration with Dierendonckblancke architects and Veldhuis architects, emerged as the winner of the competition organised by the Flemish Government Architect. The brief tasked the design team with creating a new community centre and a new design for the city heart. Our design encompasses a vision for four distinct components, each with its own accents, technicalities, and focal points: a new community centre, the introduction of a lively and car-free city square, the enhancement of the Heulebeek stream, and an upgrade of the main public space in the town centre. Together, they form a cohesive design, resulting in more valuable space for residents and a stronger overall identity for the area. The park is designed to allow the stream to flood without affecting the village. In this way, we give the river space and reduce the flood risk. At the same time, the brook is a pleasant place even at low tide, in the middle of a park, with routes right down to the water.

Heat Island Effect

City square

At the heart of the plan lies a new city square, providing space for the weekly market, fairs and other festivities. To make it car-free an existing connecting road will be diverted, allowing the creation of a central space with enhanced quality for leisure. Pedestrians and cyclists will be given priority. Thanks to an integral accessibility approach the inclusive character of the centre is further increased.


Square during the day
Square during the evening

“The extraordinary aspect of the project is that we were able to use the stream in designing a new centre for the village. In our layout, the stream really becomes part of the village. When the market is held, it sits on both sides of the water.”

Tom Wierts, associate

Creator of meaningful places

Water and green space

The Heulebeek stream, running through the town centre, will be given a more prominent position. The existing culvert of the stream will be partially opened up, extending the natural and wild stream valley deep into the centre of Gullegem, anticipating various water levels and creating a climate-adaptive park. This will result in a park landscape with a dynamic and biodiverse character, serving as a green counterpart to the adjacent city square. The valley transitions into a multifunctional green zone for events, sports, and games.



Discover other projects