Building in the Historical City
The Market Hall and Academiestraat are projects that are strongly rooted within the historical city of Ghent. Both – but mostly the Academie site – are dictated by the urban fabric as well as by their position with respect to the surrounding historical buildings, i.e. Belfry, St Nicholas' Church and St Bavo's Cathedral with regard to the Market Hall.
Academiestraat is a collaboration between various architectural studios of which Robbrecht en Daem architecten takes the lead. The other studios are M. José Van Hee architecten, ECTV architecten (Els Claessens and Tania Vandenbussche) and Dierendonckblancke architecten. There are agreements between the studios on materiality and proportion, as well as on the green outdoor spaces around which the building volumes are developing.
The Academie site integrates two protected buildings with very different morphologies: on the one hand, the eighteenth century academy building, on the other, the early twentieth century brick fire station. The project is orientated by a central pedestrian precinct which passes through the entire site.
Important to the Market Hall are positioning, perspective and the creation of surrounding public spaces: two plazas and a green. The Market Hall presents itself as a shrine and aims to give a minor expression towards the stone monuments in its close vicinity through its wooden covering.
Robbrecht en Daem architecten,
founded in 1975 by Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem, has steadily built up an impressive and utterly unique body of work, comprising a number of architecture and infrastructure projects as well as interiors and landscapes.