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ZJA, BoschSlabbers and Boskalis join forces to create a new station environment in Bruges

Bruges is on the eve of a remarkable project that will change the entrance to the city profoundly. Architectural studio ZJA and BoschSlabbers landscape architects are redesigning the railway station and surrounding area, while Boskalis will be responsible for the phased construction. Commissioned by the Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer and the municipality of Bruges, they will change the station environment over the coming years to create a green gateway to the city. One exceptional feature of the design is the transformation of the station square into a green Station Park, with an eye-catching fountain called ‘het Brugse Ei’ (the Bruges Egg).

Livability and quality

Dirk De fauw, mayor of Bruges, stresses the importance of the project. “We want to make the station environment near the ring-road more liveable as a whole and especially safer for all road users. We also want to improve the spatial quality of this gateway to the historic city centre.”

Safer and more pleasant station area

The project will greatly improve the traffic situation around Bruges train station over the next few years, with safe ways for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the R30 ring-road. The crossing points on the ring, the station square and the surrounding areas will be redeveloped so that this gateway to Bruges becomes an attractive, safe and pleasant environment.

Jochem Verbeek, project architect at ZJA, says, "The redevelopment includes the creation of underpasses for cyclists and pedestrians, the optimalization of crossings to improve safety, and the broadening of paths to ease traffic flows. Furthermore, a new wide passageway will lead travellers and visitors from the station to the city’s historic centre. This new route will provide a pleasant experience, surrounded by greenery and historical heritage, and will be an integral part of the transformation of the station area into a green and hospitable portal to Bruges.”

Station Park as a green gateway to the city

The Vesten Passage, carefully designed for pedestrians and cyclists, will cross under the ring-road to form a direct connection between the station square and the city centre. The harmonious integration of this passageway with the Vesten, the historic city ramparts, reinforces the unique power of attraction of the station environment and contributes to the green experience of this renovated gateway to the city.

 

 

Sustainability and climate adaptation

Stijn Koole, partner and landscape architect at BoschSlabbers, says, "As a result of the redesign of the station square to become the Station Park and the addition of the new passageway, the station will naturally become connected to the historic centre of town via the Vesten. The fact that we are working in a UNESCO World Heritage site means the implementation must be meticulous. We also pay a lot of attention to sustainability and climate adaptation. This is achieved as far as possible by reducing hard landscaping so that all rainwater is infiltrated and we have a large enough water buffer for the dry months. A carefully chosen assortment of plants ensures great diversity of species, size and growth habit, so that visitors are treated to a kaleidoscope of scents and colours all year round.”

Implementation

The implementation of the project will take place between 2024 and 2027 in several distinct phases.

 

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