Europalaan, Genk

This project is developed as an entry for an urban design competition, issued by the city of Genk and Team Flemish Government Architect. For its design, MMKM teamed up with 51N4E (BE), Mobility in Chain (IT), Rebel Group (BE) and Technum (BE). The team was appointed as one of four laureate teams. The text in this blog are fragments of the design brief.

Genk is an atypical Flemish town where a quite specific history has led to an unusual spatial structure and a socially differentiated fabric. A town that thrives on diversity, but which thereby finds itself facing the complexity of a polycentric urban structure with extremely heterogeneous focal points and varying forms of connectivity.

Genk opts for the ‘grid town’ as its developmental model, where the polycentric development can be a starting point and an asset. The development of the station surroundings plays a crucial part in the link between the centre and the focal points and in the development of the town in general.

The city is currently looking at a reorientation of economic activity, with new urban dynamics as a consequence. The spatial form this will take is still unpredictable, but it is thus even more important to define a clear framework within which these dynamics can unfold in the future.

We determined 3 essential fields of transition. Each one approaches the city from a different angle.

We determined 3 essential fields of transition. Each one approaches the city from a different angle.

A crucial element is a sustainable transport model, which underpins the specific spatial composition of the town and enhances the connectivity between people and the various parts of the town. The station surroundings should become a paragon of new, green mobility and play a key part in this model. The station surroundings should be a catalyst for the launch of new and innovative transport projects.

Our proposal is an overlapping network of 4 interventions, each focusing on a different area, mobile mode and field of transition. Together they form a vast framework for the future of Genk.

Our proposal is an overlapping network of 4 interventions, each focusing on a different area, mobile mode and field of transition. Together they form a vast framework for the future of Genk.

(51N4E, Mobility in Chain, Rebel, Technum, Wouter Haspeslagh, Lowie Vermeersch)