Redevelopment of a shopping street and its surroundings. The street with its large numbers of visitors needed to be renovated to be able to compete with the surrounding high-volume retailers.
Context. A lot of retailers are located in and around the Abdijstraat. The street’s main strength is its constant adjustment to the ever-changing commercial activity throughout the year.
Concept and design. The entire plan was constructed around that typical small-scale flexibility by using several zones which allow for a flexible organization in the street: the zones can be used as terraces, window shopping zones, bike storage, to plant trees, for loading and unloading or for parking cars.
The entire street was covered in the same blue pavement. The necessary functions can be ‘plugged in’ depending on the needs or the activities of the nearby buildings. All objects that could possibly be in the way have been removed. Lights and billboards are now suspended above the street. The modern design (paving patterns, surface finishing and material used gives the street a contemporary look and fits it into the city dwellers’ collective image.
Surroundings. The Abdijstraat seamlessly transitions into the shopping square on the Sint-Bernardsesteenweg. The street furniture on the square matches that of the street. Bus and tram platforms are paved in the same material as the square. A large metal canopy (designed by B-architects together with Laurent Ney) is placed on a base made out of large tiles. The canopy is a beacon beside the road and accentuates the link between TIR and the Abdijstraat.