Belgium

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







Invigorating by Michelle Linden

Ok... just to warn you, I've got a ton of photos of the Venice Biennale (some of them are labeled, more are not). If you ever have a chance to visit, I would highly recommend it... Especially, if you are like me, and feeling a bit jaded by work. The Biennale was so invigorating and refreshing, and really reminded me of all the things I love about architecture... Oh, and I saw David Adjaye. But, don't worry... I didn't run up to him like a groupie or anything!

UN Studio
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Scotland
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Romania?
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Lot Ek?
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Luxembourg
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I should really remember this firm... especially since I know they are Seattle based...
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Australia
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Belgium (After the Party)
This was my favorite installation... more than any other installation, you really experienced this space.
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Beligium
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Ben Nicholson (a former professor of mine... a bit disappointing, but fun to see)
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Brazil (original exhibition structure)
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Original Carlo Scarpa Structure
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Norway (those sliding glass doors are INSANE)
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Droog (One of my all time favorite design collaboratives)
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Frank Gehry (he should really stick to furniture)
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Frank Gehry
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Herzog & deMueron
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Israel
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Ove Arup
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Russia
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Zaha Hadid
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4X a2o by Michelle Linden

Urban development around the station
This project is a collaboration between a2o architecten and J Mayer H, responding to a masterplan by West 8. While its easy to see J Mayer H's influence on the design, the end product seems a bit more restrained than the German firm's typical designs... and I personally quite like it.

Cultural Centre Genk
I'm always a sucker for a nice sketch or collage... But, I'm particularly drawn to this image for the Cultural Centre in Genk. a2o architecten has clearly given though not just to the buildings, but to the spaces between buildings, including the structure's impact on light and use of the space.

Barrosch Remodel
In this project, a2o architecten has provided a simple glass box to act as a show room as well as a connector between two protected art nouveau structures. The simple detailing minimizes the impact of the new structure on the old.

Embassy of Qatar in Brussels
This project is probably my favorite of the bunch... Using the idea of traditional Islamic arabesques, a2o architecten have created a skin (and possibly a structure?) from these arabesques. They have managed to create a highly decorated form reminiscent of Islamic structures, interiors, and art, without simply providing additive decorations. All in all, I think its quite lovely, and quite clever.
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