ghent market hall / by Claire Grotz

At Atelier Drome, we love a great public space. Today, we’re sharing one of our designer's favorite public spaces with you.

A newly built Market Hall in the town center has become an exceptional cornerstone of public life for the city of Ghent, Belgium. In the 1300s, Ghent was a bustling port city and one of the largest hubs in Europe. Today the city is still marked by incredible architecture of the late Middle Ages. In response to a 2006 design competition, architects Robbrecht & Daem and Marie-José Van Hee came up with a design to help reinvigorate the town center and pay homage to its long history. Amidst the Gothic architecture of St. Nicholas’ Church and the Belfry, the Market Hall of Ghent gives compliment to the historic towers and local vernacular while holding true to its own place in time. Physically, the structure is no more than a canopy, yet it’s existence fills the void between the past and future, and acts as both a backdrop and center point for a beloved public space. The Market Hall’s delicate glass shingles are noteworthy, which reflect the sky and bring a certainly lightness to an otherwise monumental structure. Underfoot, a small café and bicycle parking garage also help complete the plaza.

If you’re ever in the area, Ghent is certainly worth a visit. Check out the photos below to see how the Market Hall helps support public space, and hop on over to ArchDaily to see more! 

Market Hall & Belfry

Market Hall & St. Nicholas' Church

Market Hall
Market Hall