A former one-street village is transformed into a compact municipality with new commercial initiatives and public facilities.
Context. In 2006, Stramien drew up a Public Space Master Plan, a vision for the future, in order to transform Puurs into a compact municipality. Emphasis was placed on renewal and a strong coherence within the public space – this would have to be the main catalyst. This vision was then translated into actual designs and realized in several steps.
Basic concepts. The ambitions are covered by four basic concepts: a new main street (the town centre’s backbone), turning the green inner areas inside out, using an already existing network of mass paths (connecting the main street and the inner areas) and creating a border to the village centre (next to the railroad).
Execution. The four basic concepts have all been executed with a strong typological vision and a particular choice of materials – down to the capstone and paved surfaces. However, we have always taken into account the historic character of the area.
Special attention was paid to the irregular village edge: a number of rear-facing walls were converted to façades full of character – through changes to property boundaries and the creation of new residential units. The coherence within the area is accentuated by the use of clear concepts for paved surfaces, lighting and street furniture. The project is dotted with conspicuous elements adding a touch of poetry, such as a ring-shaped canopy on the church square or surprising street lights on interesting spots along the main streets.