de kien kortrijk
The sites of De Kien, in Kortrijk, occupy a prime position overlooking the river. They face the tip of the island of Buda, in an area undergoing transformation that is situated very close to the city centre. Side by side within the perimeter drawn by Gasstraat, Rekollettenstraat, Burgemeester Schinkelstraat and the river stand row houses, an apartment block, a former factory converted into offices and homes, and an old industrial warehouse that is still in use.
Pressure to optimize use of the site and construct a large number of homes (20,000 m2) has to be reconciled with the determination of the authorities to avoid excessive building on the riverfront that would hamper permeability towards the interior of Overleie. The possibility of a new “town wall” of the kind built in coastal towns and cities in Flanders is the basis for their concerns and the reference to be avoided.
The proposal for development has to take into account the ownership structure and allow phase-by-phase construction in keeping with the needs of the various agents involved. It also has to define the position and characteristics of a new footbridge to replace the old one that stood here before the river was widened and to reconnect the two embankments.
The land along Rekolletenstraat, occupied by the old warehouse, is earmarked for row housing in the form of two city blocks. A passageway between them is envisaged to establish a link with the future development of the tracts situated on the other side of the street, for which a further proposal has been made.
The space between these two city blocks and the river is laid out like a public park, containing the new residential units in addition to the two existing ones. The four new apartment buildings take the form of small towers with private spaces at ground level, engaging with the public space. On the Gasstraat side, they connect with the new residential building planned beside the Vlasmuseum.
The abutment of the bridge is designed as a public building that houses a café and restaurant, freeing up a large south-facing space that overlooks the water and forms an entrance space, giving rise to an itinerary that leads into the territory of Overleie and on to Astridpark.