The site as a convent garden in the centre of Sint-Niklaas.

Section of the cloister wall.

Continuous tiling connects sidewalks, church and garden.

A flea market in the church: the lowered church floor improves the accessibility.

The multifunctional church with different functions.

A multifunctional church.

The large aedicule with stage, elevator and a meeting room on the first floor in painted multiplex.

Yoga class in the central space with view on the small aedicule that contains a cloakroom, storage and bar.

Redevelopment of a Former Monastery


Ground floor

First floor

Second floor

The site of an old monastery seeks to reclaim its traditional role as the social hub of the neighbourhood. Together with Monadnock, we worked on the idea of the monastery typology as far as possible, even though most of the historical buildings will be replaced by new architecture. All of the homes give onto a courtyard, with galleries, winter gardens and porches providing an extra privacy gradient between the housing programme and this open interior space. The church will be converted into a sort of multifunctional ‘Swiss army knife’ that can be put to countless uses within the community. The most important intervention is as subtle as it is radical: we have lowered the church floor to street level. As a result, both the building and the garden become warm and inviting public spaces.

  • Design teamDirk Somers, Marius Grootveld, Matilde Everaert, Axel Chevroulet & Mayuri Paranthahan
  • LocationSint-Niklaas
  • Year2014 - 2015
  • In collaboration withMonadnock, Sweco and Jan Minne Landscape Architect