Until recently, this space was nothing more than an asphalted parking lot mainly related to the football stadium. With the arrival of an office building, a hotel, 2 apartment buildings, and the renovation of the football stadium, the site underwent a complete transformation from monofunctional (parking) to highly dynamic and flexible use. During home matches of Essevee, more than 12,000 people often need to move in the immediate vicinity. On other days, this new public space serves as a pleasant and high-quality meeting and living space for passers-by, visitors, and residents of Waregem.
The site is located along the Waregem ring road (R35). Anyone driving from the E17 towards the center of Waregem automatically passes the site. Waregem had the ambition to make this square a landmark as an entrance to the city. Given the dense presence of buildings on the site, we had to incorporate as much greenery as possible into our design.
As mentioned earlier, the site was until recently a large asphalted parking lot with only a few small, narrow green strips. Today, the site is cleared of car traffic and is only accessible to the fire department and capture vehicles during home matches. The area of the paved terrain was 8000m², while the surface of the current paving is 5850m², of which 1600m² are grass concrete tiles. The net paving was thus reduced by almost 50%.
The aim is first and foremost to keep all rainwater on site as much as possible. The rainwater that falls on the paving flows towards the wadis where the water can be buffered and infiltrated. If the water level becomes too high, the water flows via special culvert connections to the rainwater drain. The zone required for the fire department was laid out in grass concrete tiles, and a water-permeable foundation was used to infiltrate the water as much as possible into the subsoil.
The design of the project was determined by the analysis of the expected walking routes on the site in combination with responding to the architecture of the different buildings on the site. This resulted in an organic yet tight design.
The extra width required for accessibility for the fire department and emergency services as well as the zone for capture vehicles (required for live reporting during football matches) was laid out in grass concrete tiles, with a tight pattern of 50% concrete and 50% grass chosen. This rather tight figure ultimately forms a beautiful interplay of lines with the organic shape of the design. In the context of integral accessibility, the benches are easily and comfortably accessible through the application of a closed stone in the same format as the grass concrete tile.
Landscape Architecture: Sweco Belgium
Photography: Eva Vermeylen
The Streetview may show the condition before the intervention