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OMGEVING: Kardinaal Mercier Square is to become the most important square in Jette, and it owes this status to its central position and its various key roles. The design is neutral with regard to motorised traffic, yet clearly prioritises the quality of the surroundings. The new square is intended to be a bustling living room for Jette.
Over the next few years, the station in Jette will be undergoing a major facelift within the scope of the Regional Express Network (GEN), which provides the opportunity to organise and represent the desired spatial and functional continuity. The existing eastern passage under the tracks has been upgraded and a new western passage has been created. Accessibility and spatial quality have been drastically improved, and allows travellers to move between platforms, Kardinaal Mercier Square and the northern car park on Dupré Street with ease. Tram and bus, the second important link in the public-transport network, have a joint stop at the southern façade of the church. Since the car also has a leading role in this multimodal framework, short-term parking spaces and a kiss & ride zone are to be introduced in front of the station. Two parking spaces are planned on the centre of the square for people with a disability. From this point, there are two small walking lines toward the police station, the library and the station.
▼公园入口造型独特的遮阳亭 The park entrance is marked out by the distinctive awnings
Avoiding search traffic
The parking spaces on the square have been cut back to a narrow parking area along the road and a parking cluster for residents in the northern section of L. Theodoor Street. In this way, the space is redistributed and the stay acquires a central place on the square. The structure of the area under development allows traffic directions to be altered or closed off in the future, without the design having to be adjusted. The police can circulate freely over the square, just as the ceremonial vehicles for the church and the town hall. There are lowered strips at various places in order to organise loading and unloading, to allow the buses to circulate and make necessary fire service manoeuvres possible. The long-term parking is concentrated on the north side of the station. The current car park has been optimised and increased by cutting into a plot of wasteland belonging to the municipality. By concentrating parking here, lost traffic is avoided and Kardinaal Mercier Square can fulfil its role as Jette’s reception room to the full.
▼种植池细部 Planting bed detail
The interventions thus improve the identity and the quality of the surroundings on the square. The church, the old town hall, the station and the library are connected with each other spatially by keeping free the lines of sight and the walking lines, and by common paving. The square offers space for civic activities and events such as music festivals, the brocante market and the Christmas market. The elongated wooden benches entice people to take a rest and to enjoy the setting offered, or somewhere for a good chat with friends or a spot for school children to picnic at lunchtime. The whimsical way the trees are planted over the square refers to the intended continuity in the greenery and park structure. By removing some of the trees and planting new ones, an enhanced composition of age is brought about and the prevalent east-west direction of the trees is broken up. The pleasant municipal park is subtly inserted into the square, and gains a striking entrance gate. The park entrance is marked out by board steps and distinctive awnings as a contemporary interpretation of a kiosk. Small-scale performances and events can take place here in an informal fashion, although the main function of the kiosk is to announce the park.
▼长条木凳供人们休息交谈 The elongated wooden benches entice people to take a rest
The desired link function is best represented by the park path that meanders over the square. The path is has been executed in a contrasting, smooth material and more than being a meandering element, it also organises the walking lines, stops and zones in a playful way.
▼围栏细节图 Fence detail
▼凉亭细节图 Shed detail
▼长凳细节图 Bench detail
摄影: Pol de Wilde
Landscape architect: OMGEVING landscape architecture urbanism
Project Location: Jette, Belgium
Project Size: 4 hectares
Design: 2007 (international competition)
Photo credit: Pol de Wilde
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