20. February 2013 /

Averbode Abbey Square wins Public Space Award

The Averbode Abbey Square in Belgium, designed by OMGEVING, has won the Belgian Public Space Award 2013. The century-old abbey was recently given a new lease on life with a rejuvenated courtyard – the centrepiece of which is a grand 900m2 water mirror that elegantly reflects the surrounding buildings. The decision to rebuild the square was made in 2010, due to the bad condition of the former pavement and to reduce the number of car parking spaces in the central square. The flexibility of the courtyard is guaranteed with the ability to drain the water from the mirror, creating a larger useable area for events. The jury of the Public Space Award was mainly impressed with the sophisticated simplicity of the project, stating that "The Abbey Square is a distinguished example of exquisite minimalism," and one which enhances the appreciation of its historical surrounding.

Images courtesy of OMGEVING.

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 projects 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).

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