LOW-ENERGY CO-HOUSING AND COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE CENTRE ON THE INDUSTRIAL SITE OF THE FORMER MALMAR SITE IN GHENT
Close to the centre of Gent, standing in the Bijgaardepark of the Sint-Amandsberg neighbourhood, the derelict Malmar factory – where nature has taken over – constitutes a dramatic scenery studded with graffiti’s from street artist Roa. A brick wall encloses a 11.500m² inaccessible plot. Surrounded by large commercial amenities in the North, the railways in the West, and a set of traditional row houses in the South-East, the style and scale of former warehouse contrasts with the local urban fabric. The site will foster an ambitious mixed program, bringing together three co-housing groups (Biotope – 19 units, De Spore – 15 units & Wijgaard – 25 units) with a community healthcare facility (Wijkgezondheidscentrum Kapellenberg).
As one of the largest co-housing projects in Flanders, the specificity of Bijgaardehof lies in the ambition to mutualise a set of functions overlapping at various scales: collective spaces within a single co-housing group, an atelier used by all the inhabitants, collective generation of renewable energy and use of resources and space; while bringing an added value to the residential neighbourhood and the city of Gent. Beyond a traditional design process, a transversal organisation bringing representatives of each housing group together allow them to reflect jointly upon multiple topics such as mobility, sustainability, mutualisation and more, in order to challenge the programme with bottom up participation and generate co-creation.