BOB361 architects

Multifunctional space . Dendermonde

source: courtesy of BOB361 architects . photos: © andré nullens

The building site is situated between the main road of the city of
Dendermonde and the green bank of the river Dender.

Three urban strategies lead to the creation of a new connection of these two
contrasting atmospheres.

1  The historical fortifications are transformed into a greenbelt around the
centre of the city. The green passage along the library completes the
missing link in this structure.

2 Within the urban fabric the complex introduces a new hangout-place,
enriching the social network. The presence of schools and the diverse
program will activate the site day and night.

3 By creating a physical pedestrian walkthrough, connecting the main
shopping axis and the recreational green area, a critical mass of people can
penetrate the site.

The passage gives the building four active façades.

The literal implementation of the program would have been problematic on the
building site, as the green passage would have become parking and the
building itself would lack dialogue with its surrounding space. By shifting
the parking onto the top of the building, the green area can become a
pedestrian connection where the main entrance of the library is situated.
The roof functions as a public and easily accessible square. The
multifunctional hall (exhibitions, functions, lecturesŠ) along the main road
and meeting rooms on the ³backside² are lifted and can function separately
through the roofscape. The Œroof- square¹ acts as a transit space for the
flux of cars and people. It folds to get natural light into the underlying
spaces. The large open space of the library is formed by the folding planes
of the roof and the floor, creating a space of varying volumes. By setting
the book collections down, the occupant has an uninterrupted view of the
library space. The central circulation-strip services the different
collections and is naturally lit (garden, light- pavilion, skylight).


The folded concrete slab incorporates the lighting and the acoustic

Since the building is very deep, the design a sustainable lighting system
was very important: the concrete roof is folded in such a way as to allow
natural light to penetrate into the core of the building, without causing

To realize optimal summer comfort, intensive night ventilation was
integrated in the project. Although a library is a very busy and vibrant
space, the lighting and acoustic design make it a very comfortable and quiet

adress - dendermonde belgium - kerkstraat-sas
client - city of dendermonde ­ dexia bank
surface - 6300m2
budget - 8.500.00,00 euro
timing - 2003-2010
admission - 1st prize competition on invitation

architect BOB361 architects ­
goedele desmet-ivo vanhamme-jean-michel culas
Collaborators ­
gunther slagmeulder-ward verbakel-annelies augustijns-annelies
staessen-nathan ooms-griet moors
interior architect Venlet interior
architecture ­ danny venlet
structural engineer BAS ­ dirk jaspaert-
kathleen mertens
environmental engineer Daidalos ­ filip descamps
acoustic engineer Daidalos ­ paul mees
hydraulic & mechanical engineer BBT ­ guido neuhard

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