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1816_ICC GENT
reconversion and renovation project of the ICC/FloraliŽn Hall in Ghent

Location :
Ghent
Team :
AgwA + BRUTHER
Subcontractors :
Ney&Partners - Ingenium - Delta GC - Kahle Acoustics - Denis Dujardin - Muller Van Severen
Planning :
2019
Category :
Competition
Without any doubt, The Citadel Park remains an exemplary place in the urban fabric of Ghent. The current aggregation of buildings in the park, heterogeneous in use and expression, primarily faces the park. At its center we find the wonderful FloraliŽn Hall, a modern cathedral, is nowadays left unappreciated. The immense space is rendered invisible, due to the purely functional logic applied over the years for the construction of the urban landscape. The proposed cross shape in the projectís master plan clarifies the urban organisation. Urbanity is once again created on the site. Before setting out the outlines of the design, we wonder about this urbanity, about the nature of the site in its future. (Ö)

The first architectural intention for this project is therefore to make the system visible, usable, and liveable in the park, without seeking to create one unambiguous image; rather to accept the heterogeneity of the place and incorporate it in a design. Constantly confronting the clarity of a composition with the non-specificity of the place.

The clarification and restructuration of the plan involves a double movement: [firstly], the renovated FloraliŽn Hall appears as a connecting element and establishes relationships between the buildings. This is the internal logic of the project. [Secondly,] the external logic intensifies the character of each of the four entities to transform them into poles: sports in the North ('t Kuipke), art and culture in the East (the SMAK, linked to the MSK), economy in the South (the ICC with increased capacity and more compact plan) and events in the West (the Casino as a trump card, extra space linked to the hall, the other actors, the city).

Temporality is an important element in the story: indeed, each entity follows a different rhythm. The hall can become a place for activities such as markets or exhibitions that will have a high visitor frequency during the weekend. ď't KuipkeĒ has a vibrant program with the ďSix DaysĒ, bringing an incredible dynamism 24 hours a day, although the rest of the time, the place is much calmer. In contrast, the ICC has a much more stable rhythm with events throughout the year. These different tempos must be respected, sometimes harmonized, without one entity intruding on the others. The versatility of the Casino makes this possible. The FloraliŽn Hall must therefore act as a unifying force for the whole.

(Extracts from the Competition Proposal)