Vismarkt Louvain

The recovery of the intrinsic relation between the landscape of the Dijle valley and the compact city of Louvain is the inspiration for our master plan for the Vismarkt and its surroundings. Our main intervention is to reveal the fifth branch of the Dijle as a characteristic blue-green public space for inhabitants and visitors to experience and enjoy. We envision the Vismarkt as a green cushion to the water that softens and cools the place and that invites to linger.

 

Principals of the masterplan:

More space for water: At the Vismarkt we reveal the Dijle valley again to make the water and it’s embankments an attractive place to be. At Cranendonck, where the space is limited, the Dijle appears as a well. The masterplan also creates permeable public spaces for rain to infiltrate.

More space for green in the city: Reducing the space for cars makes it possible to substantially green the area. By making soft inner bends and hard outer bends, we expose the hydrodynamics of the Dijle valley. The green spaces are a welcome counterpart to the ‘mineral’ historic city.

More space for pedestrians and cyclists: Smart traffic circulation and a reduction of parking places creates more space for cycling and walking. The car is a guest in the area. We create pleasant streets and a central blue green square as a pause in this network.

 

Proposal for the Vismarkt:

The Vismarkt is park and square at the same time. The branch of the Dijle – now covered and invisible- is revealed. A central green meadow gently folds itself from the perimeter of the Vismarkt to the water. On the northern side, the existing trees provide cooling. On all sides there is enough space for commercial activities and terraces along the historic buildings. To ensure maximum contact with the water and ensure safety, a transparent steel railing is provided on the new quay wall. When its dark, the Dijle landscape and the historic city are set in an atmospheric lighting.

 

Masterplan Vismarkt: publication