Architects: Venhoeven CS in collaboration with BURO II & ARCHI+I
Location: Wetteren, Belgium
Designing Architect: VenhoevenCS architecture+urbanism
Team: Ton Venhoeven, Bas Römgens, Katharina Hagg, Maarten Bax, Servy Bruls, Ornella Lazzari, Sylvain Wintz
Project Director: Arch. Geert Blervacq
Project Architect: Arch. Vincent Baudry, Arch. Thomas Dierickx
Project Year: 2012
Project Area: 4,411 sqm
Photographs: Filip Dujardin
The De Warande master plan provides a dynamic and cohesive framework for a multiplicity of activities with suffi cient fl exibility to respond to future changes and developments.
The plan focuses above all on experiencing the area as a park. A distinction has been made between two areas: a park with recreational functions along routes, and a strip with a high density of sports and relaxation functions. A large part of De Warande was behind fencing of all shapes and sizes. For much of the year a large part of De Warande is not accessible to the public. The superfl uous fences have been removed to turn De Warande back into a park.
By fencing only the lawn around the outdoor swimming pool, the park will remain open in summer to other visitors. Outside the outdoor swimming pool season, large gates in the hedge will be open to make the entire area accessible to sports enthusiasts and recreationists. The landmarks will be the impressive villa, the new sports hall, robust groups of trees and exceptional solitary spots set against a wooded background. The relationship
between the different activities and the park is extremely important. Lines of sight and recreational routes through the existing landscape and architectural elements will reinforce the cohesion in the park. The trees have been positioned in a way that allows them to support the lines of sight and follow the curves in paths. This will ensure that besides its spatiality the park will also be socially safe.
The sports hall has been designed as a covered part of the park, with lines of sight to and views of the different spaces, activities and visitors inside and outside the building. The centrally located catering area is visible from all sides and offers a panorama across the whole park. The building is a complete an attractive sports environment with numerous possibilities and modern facilities. The transparent entrance hall makes the gymnasium visible from the front square. The building acts like a sign for sports and games.
Sustainability and energy are integral parts of the master plan. Construction of the new sports hall and phase 1 of the park will lay the foundations for a smart grid. A combined heat and power plant has been installed to meet the heating requirements of the indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The plant will further provide some of the electricity needed for the swimming pool and other functions on the domain. The sports hall has been equipped
with an air/water heat pump for fl oor heating and a solar boiler to produce hot water for the sanitary facilities. Toilets are being fl ushed with rainwater to make the most economical use possible of water. The superfl uous rainwater of the buildings and the metalled surfaces around the sports hall will be used to keep the pond water at the right level. The car park has been constructed with drainage bricks enabling rain to infi ltrate the site.