The public space of Kievitwijk District serves as the internationally oriented entrance area of the Central Station of Antwerp, as urban workplace and as green space for local residents. Therefore, a strong identity in the design comes first: as a binding element of the various spheres and users, and as a structuring public domain for the entire district (old and new). A coherent solution requires a clear appearance.
Therefore the design team resolutely opted for a green character. The strong green structure in the design creates unity, and gives the neighbourhood an urban character and appearance. Trees are planted where possible, which defines the character of the area in all seasons. In addition, raised “green pillows” are proposed, that give structure to the space and also function as informal green play areas. Part of the green identity is created by planting the new built vertical walls.
The design of the public space allows a flexible use, related to the (very) different user groups. The feeling of being dominated by the buildings, makes way for a feeling of security. At the edges of the raised “green pillows” small places to sit together are suggested. These spaces make people forget the large scale buildings in the area. The design offers open as well as closed spaces for different groups of users, who can temporarily call these spaces their own. The aim is to design a secure social environment, with attention for the evening- and night situation and use.
In the design all required spatial and infrastructural connections are ensured, to undo the former isolation of the Kievit District. The Kievit phase 2 area is anchored in its environment by the explicit spatial links, both in north-south direction and by the new connections in east-west direction.
With respect for the cultural heritage of the station area of Antwerp, new urban spaces have been designed. Near the entrance of the station building a new lively space is added. In addition, the railway bridge over the Plantin and Moretuslei is made accessible. On top of the historical railway bridge a “city balcony “ is designed, with a seating podium and a multi court. Between the city balcony and the rails a vertical playground will be built.Location: Antwerp, Belgium Designers: Hosper | Hanneke Kijne, Marike Oudijk, Silko van Vliet, Laura Spenkelink, Ricsi van Beek Partners: BUUR | bureau voor urbanisme cvba, ARA Atelier Ruimtelijk Advies Client: Stad Antwerpen Size: ca. 15.000 m2 Year of design: 2012 Award: first prize ‘KIEVIT IN GREEN’