West 8 + Snoeck & Partners together with Atelier Roland-Jéol win the competition for the Redevelopment of ‘t Zand in Bruges
On Tuesday the 16th of June, the Bruges City Council announced West 8 + Snoeck & Partners together with Atelier Roland-Jéol, as the winners of the competition for the redevelopment of the 8,500m2 ‘t Zand (Het Zand Square) in the UNESCO town of Bruges in Belgium. The eleven-strong jury, composed five representatives from the City Council and six external experts selected West 8 + Snoek & Partners design, which delivers a renewed identity for the historic square, as the winner.
Of the winning design, jury member and Mayor Renaat Landuyt commented that “The plan is revolutionary in its simplicity. It harks back to the site’s original urban structure prior to the development of the Bruges ring road, with allusions to Marcus Gerards’ 1562 medieval map. Today, the former station on ‘t Zand and the Bruges ring is cut in two. Thanks to this plan West Bruges will now be reconnected to the historic center. “
In January, 2015 five design teams were shortlisted from 20 submissions to compete in the five month urban design competition for the Redevelopment of t’Zand, which culminated with a presentation to the jury panel on Wednesday the 16th of June.
“The winning design is not just a roof over a parking lot, but a fully functioning square. The adjacent Concert Hall is embedded in stands of Linden trees that connect through to the trees in Albert Park. While the relocation of the existing fountain enables the square to fulfill its function as premier event plaza.” said Mayor Renaat Landuyt.
“For the past 30 years ‘t Zand has remained untouched, it was time for a new take on Bruges biggest town square,” said Franky Demon, head of planning at CD&V. “The reconstruction of ‘t Zand is undoubtedly one of the most important projects in the heart of Bruges. One that demands a well thought out design.’’
Within a few years Bruges’ main square will be transformed beyond recognition. The existing fountain will be removed, the roads realigned and the square interwoven with adjacent King Albert I Park, ‘t Zand will once again be connected to Bruges’ celebrated urban fabric.
West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture founded in 1987. Over the last 25 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. West 8 developed projects all over the world in places such as Copenhagen, London, Moscow, New York, Madrid, Toronto and Amsterdam. The office gained international recognition with projects such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), Jubilee Gardens in London (UK), Expo \’02 in Yverdon-les-Bains (CH) and Miami Beach SoundScape Park (US). Many of the projects are the result of groundbreaking entries in important international competitions. Recently won competitions include Toronto Waterfront in Toronto (CA), Governors Island in New York (USA) and Yongsan Park in Seoul (KR).
Amongst the numerous awards received by West 8 are the Honor Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lifetime Achievement Award for Architecture 2011, Mondriaan Fund (formerly BKVB), the International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA), the Prix de Rome, the Dutch Maaskant Award, the Bijhouwer Award, the Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, the Green Pin and the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design.