Ferraris map 1771-1778

The existing situation

The complete plan with the connections towards the surrounding green structures.

A plan without streets.

The spine of the plan is made through a sequence of public fields.

The perspective through the public yards.

The perspective through the public yards.

Perspective from a public green towards a collective green.

View from an intimate court towards a public field.

Collective housing in a collective landscape


Masterplan for the Flemish Government Architect, Matexi and the municipality of Beveren.
This design research project aims at a new alliance between the Flemish countryside and living within that landscape. In the past century, life in Flanders has slowly been detached from the landscape. The connection between living and countryside today is usually anecdotal or parasitic, often even both at the same time.┬áThe research area of this document is characterized by its peri-urban character. It’s about environments where the city is near, where the pressure of urbanisation is high, and where the remaining parts of the fragmented agricultural area are threatened with transformation. We can characterise large parts of the “Vlaamse Ruit” as such. For this assignment, the southern edge of Antwerp’s agglomeration served as a test case.┬áThis project is based on the urban principle of positive externality. Compaction is more than a quantitative task. Compaction should also contribute to a more interesting urban landscape. Hence, each development in this plan goes along with collective added value. By releasing close-up scenery and by creating access to part of the developed space, any operation can add value to the newly created outdoor area.
The design wants to be systemic in nature. The intended shift needs to be performed in a simple, small-scale manner. New alternative developments must be able to graft on to the small-scale plot structure that features in this peri-urban landscape. Preferably these developments are handled by an analogue, speculative mechanism. Densification takes place in small steps and according to new compact models. These new figures graft on to the underlying rural module (anything from a half to a few hectares). The aim is to selectively increase the density, while creating added value for the landscape.

  • Design teamDirk Somers, Marius Grootveld & Gosia Olchowska
  • LocationBeveren
  • Year2014 - 2015