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urban design

A future vision for the tourist and recreational attraction ‘Donkfront’ by the Donk lake

THE BACKSIDE BECOMES A SECOND FRONT

BERLARE, BE

The project aims to restore the dynamic of the Donkfront by freshening up some of the outdated features and making the most of its unique location on the northern bank of the Donk lake. We use the different historic layers of the site and shift the focus back to its original quality: the landscape. The Donkfront used to be a dam between two waters. All attention is now focused on the front towards the lake while the other side was turned into an unattractive backside. Our design tries to reestablish a second front and this way also include the valuable landscape which it overlooks as a part of the attraction of the Donkfront.

We propose to widen the busy street next to the lake into a continuous plaza extending into the lake and providing space for local bars and restaurants. A second street along the bank is strengthened in its green and park-like character. Both streets define the scenery and image of the Donkfront to a large extend.

However, the biggest potential for a renewed image of the Donkfront lies at the current back side. This quiet natural landscape, including different water elements reminiscing of the old river arm that used to link this side to the Donk lake could serve as an interesting counterpart to the very developed and lively lake front. By allowing the existing buildings to create a new front towards the landscape, we confirm the Donk front as a dam over this old arm of the river Scheldt. A new landscaped parking for the Donkfront doubles as a gateway to the lesser known natural landscape, that could help to attract a broader range of recreational users. A system of connected and clustered parking lots provides a compact and legible alternative to the space consuming sprawl of small private parking lots.

Project Facts

Scope of work

Making a masterplan and image quality guidelines for Donkfront

Collaboration

Lama (landscape architect), Talboom (technical project support)

Location

Berlare, BE

Scale

town of Donk

Client

Municipality of Berlare

Status

Completed, 2015

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