Green “room” by XDGA will attract attention to a new public building at the Oude Dokken site

We already wrote about the developments at the “Oude Dokken” (Old Docks) site. In attendance of a complete update about the ongoing works in the “new” district we wanted to give a first insight in the city’s plans to build a school and sports infrastructure. (Nederlandstalige versie)

Sogent, the Ghent municipal development authority is planning to build a school for 240 children, connected to it will be a sports hall for the district and a day-nursery. Architecture firm XDGA (Xaveer De Geyter Architects) was contracted by sogent. They founded a temporary association with engineering firms Ney & Partners and Boydens. Together they drew up an 18 meter high public building that will be built on the south of the Bataviabridge. The building itself will be located along the Koopvaardijlaan. That way it will become a barrier between the busy lane and the Schipperskaai.


Butted up against the building, they are planning to erect an open steel structure, partially covered in a wire-mesh. By growing plants into the mesh the structure will become a sort of green outside room. This “room” will have approximately the same volume as the building itself. In it there will be a mix of outdoor functions, always tied to the different parts of the building. Eye-catching is a sports-cage that has been “hung” inside the space to allow for ball games.


The green room will have larger window-like openings in the mesh, to allow occupants of the building to have views on the Schipperskaai, the nearby park and the waterside. By means of a “ribbon” of play-devices for children the room will be intertwined with the park-area (south-side) and a market square (north-side).


The actual building will be a passive building that will be connected to a biogas installation. Turning waste into gas, the system is also being developed to provide energy for the residential housing that is planned on the same site. Outside of school hours, the school will be open for use for other educational projects and organizations. The restaurant and meeting room will also be made available to serve as communal spaces for future residents of the area.

If sogent and the city succeed in funding the 10 million euro project – a big part of which needs to come from the Flemish government -, they plan to break ground in 2017 to have the project ready in 2019. In that year, the first people should be moving in to their new homes. 350 apartments of in total 1500 planned dwellings will be on the market in 2016. They will be built on the land that is now being used by DOK, a temporary project, filling the voids before the redevelopment. If you want to buy a property there, you will need some imagination, as they will be sold off-plan.

Text: Olivier De Roo / Source: Pressrelease sogent / Simulations: Xaveer De Geyter Architects (XDGA) / Pictures: sogent

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