‘boekenberg park’ by OMGEVING, deurne, belgium
all images courtesy of OMGEVING
OMGEVING has revived the southern end of ‘boekenberg park’ in deurne, a town outside of antwerp, belgium. the outdated facilities had breached modern health and safety regulations, and after a discussion of restoration, the city and architects decided to rehabilitate. as with most projects in europe, the historical uses of the site played a major role in the direction of the design. during the 16th and 18th centuries, the area served as a holiday retreat for families. between between 1752 and the beginning of the first world war, the park’s gold period resulted in rocco style developments with english gardens commissioned prominent owners. during the 20th century, a gradual degradation caused by short-sighted updates occurred before acquiring natural heritage status in 1974. since then, a period of revitalization commenced.
view from across the pond
respecting the history of the grounds, part of the masterplan includes a restoration of a mirror pond towards the northern edge as well as the encompassing romantic landscape. the water body’s location mediates a forest from a grassland to the west. ecological water treatment ensures the quality is up to par with local regulations. helpful bacteria, fungi, plants, snails and other organisms break down pollutants. the contents of the once bright blue man-made pool have been transformed into a natural and mossy swimming lagoon with patches of reeds.
bridge leading to structures
the center piece of the plan are a series of corten steel pavilions to house the changing and restroom facilities for the swimming pool. evoking rock formations, earthen tones surface the three structures with slanted rooflines. greenery on the roofs offer a resolved prospect from the neighboring apartments. a bridge brings visitors towards the building gateway, with a continued path as an option to leave the park. upon entering the complex, the axial arrangement is revealed and a secondary pathway leads to the changing rooms, showers and pool. minimal constructions and maintaining the open space gives the community a place to occupy in their own way.
platforms leading across the pond
view from across the reflecting pond
view within the parkscape
view of pavilions within the parkscape
corten facade detail
corten steel structures in the landscape
bridge to changing structures
entry to changing rooms
entry to changing rooms
aerial view of changing rooms