The Averbode Abbey’s Square in Belgium, designed by OMGEVING, wins the Public Space Award 2013. The jury was mainly impressed with the sophisticated simplicity of the project, which enhances the appreciation of its historical surrounding. According to the jury: ‘The Abbey Square is a distinguished example of exquisite minimalism.’ With a determined serenity and unity in the space, and by very simple means, a new meaningful place was created.
‘Receiving and reflecting’ are key themes of this project. In the new courtyard of the Abbey, the historical buildings multiplied by the large water mirror, become an image of themselves, a mere shadow of reality. A physical reflection of the surroundings subconsciously stimulates the visitor to reflect on one’s past, present and future.
The Public Space Award 2013 was presented during the Day of the Public Space at Brussels Expo by Brussels’ Minister for Public Works Brigitte Grouwels. The Public Space Award is an initiative of the Belgian think-tank Steunpunt Straten. With this award, Steunpunt Straten brings a well-deserved appreciation to the best practices in public space design, encouraging local authorities and developers across the country to invest in qualitative public spaces.
The annual call for proposals resulted in 64 submissions, out of which the 44 most interesting realizations were collected in a book entitled Public Space. Five of them were nominated for the Public Space Award 2013, including the surroundings of the Noordbrug (Kortrijk), the Market Square (Deinze), the Korenmarkt (Mechelen), the Abbey Square (Scherpenheuvel – Zichem) and the C-Mine Square (Genk).Location: Scherpenheuvel – Zichem, Belgium Design: OMGEVING Project team: Evi Lefevere, Koen Moelants, Luc Wallays, Peter Seynaeve, Tompy Hoedelmans Year of design: 2010 Year of realization: 2012 Surface: 5.000 m² Client: Abdij der Norbertijnen vzw