Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Lange Schipstraat and Lekkernijstraatje in Mechelen, Belgium by OKRA Landscape Architects
January 23rd, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: OKRA Landscape Architects
The river Dijle is of great importance for the history of Mechelen. Right through the center flows the River Dijle. The river with its Dijle Tablets provide a physical barrier in the fabric of the city, but is also a fast connection from the surrounding countryside, along the city park ‘The Botanique’ to the center. The Lange Schipstraat is the part of this route that was designed by OKRA, and part of this route over the Dijle Tablets.
However on the Lange Schipstraat, the city, just like in many other places in the city, has turned away from the water. The tide turned for all the water in Mechelen, and the city goes back to the Dijle.
Like many of the other refurbished streets in the center of Mechelen, the route is characterized by the curved trace, which finds its roots in the erratic course of the Dijle and the brooks.
Another reference to the presence of water in the Lange Schipstraat is the presence of former warehouses of the Dijle. The two sites located between the Dijle and the Lange Schipstraat are former stacking locations where cargo was stored for international shipments. The cargo was shipped from the quayside and from there transported to its final destination.
A grid of blocks is a representation thereof. The blocks make the space a sculpture by alternating them to perform as high, low block, a block to sit on or boomspiegel. The blocks refer to different types of cargo, which were stored here in the past. The blocks refer to crates, carried out in different heights. Some blocks receive a tarpaulin in the form of a wooden deck.
The blocks are always executed in stone and refer to the stone that was shopped over the Dijle and from which the city is built.
The existing lime trees are incorporated into the design. It is a quiet place in the urban core fabric of Mechelen, where people can enjoy the sun at the waterside.
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Category: public spaces