The international top architects of Snøhetta - known for the famous opera in Oslo - are designing a building in our country for the first time. Together with the renowned architectural firm B2Ai from Roeselare and the famous landscape architect Erik De Waele, they are breathing new life into the old station area of Roeselare. 'Roelevard' - as the ambitious project is called - is set to become the eye-catcher of the city and by extension of the entire region. Equally striking: with its 9 green roofs, 3,800 m2 of greenery, 81 apartments, office space for more than 400 employees, and retail and catering space, the project will meet virtually all the previous wishes of the local residents. This is clear looking at the new plans of property developers Steenoven and ION. The College of Aldermen gave them the green light for the complete redevelopment earlier this week.
The Roeselare College of Aldermen will soon issue a permit for 'Roelevard'. This new-build project - previously called 'De Groenling' - is very ambitious. 'Roelevard' is to become the eye-catcher of the city of Roeselare - and by extension of the entire region. None other than the internationally renowned architectural firm Snøhetta – known for the opera house in Oslo, the Memorial Museum on Ground Zero in New York and the first European underwater restaurant - drew up further plans for the prestigious project at the station in collaboration with B2Ai.
This is an absolute first for our country, as it is the first time that Norwegian architects have helped design a building in Belgium.
Snøhetta is known for being a master at merging architecture and landscapes. Once again they have succeeded with flying colours, together with B2Ai and Erik De Waele. Moreover, 'Roelevard' is a piece of high-quality architecture that encourages interaction and experiences."
Bart Vanderdonckt, CEO of Steenoven
The most impressive part of 'Roelevard' is the 46-metre tower that will rise above the station square. A total of 81 flats, 470 m² of retail space, 200 m² of catering facilities and 5,900 m² of office space will be spread over two blocks. More than 400 people will be able to work in the offices.
There will also be 17 above-ground and 148 underground parking spaces and no less than 345 bicycle spaces on site. Some of the parking spaces will be reserved for the offices, but will be leased to the residents after office hours. The public space between the buildings will also be an adventurous meeting place with an amphitheatre.
"The redevelopment of the station area fits in perfectly with the vision of the Flemish Government Architect: a balanced combination of living, working and shopping facilities. Thanks to its strategic location, the residents and businesses that will call this project home will be able to enjoy smooth mobility. Moreover, flourishing station neighbourhoods are an asset for any city, just look at the redevelopment of Antwerp-Berchem, Leuven or the new plans for Ghent."
Davy Demuynck, CEO of ION
Lower and greener
In March 2018, the owner of the building submitted another building application, which gave rise to a number of minor and major concerns among local residents. These concerns were taken to heart, and the plans were revised.
Also striking: in order to tackle the concerns of the local residents, the property developer and the city of Roeselare joined forces with the renowned landscape architect Erik De Waele, who is also involved in the roofing of the Oosterweel Link. Thanks to his expertise, extra greenery will be created, water will be used more sustainably and roof gardens will be created with various types of plants. What's more, Stationsdreef - where the original plans made no mention of greenery - will now have an additional row of trees.
"It is important to listen to the local residents’ concerns and we are always open to suggestions and adjustments if they are well substantiated. We have therefore adapted the plans as much as possible to the needs of the neighbourhood. The Flemish are sometimes a little frightened by grand building plans, but our intention is always to create added value for everyone. A good project can only come about by sharing visions and reconciling points of view. That always leads to a win-win situation."
Bart Vanderdonckt, CEO of Steenoven
The College of the Mayor and Aldermen approved the permit early this week. The works on this ambitious project will start in 2020 and are expected to last three years.
9 green roofs
59 trees, 3,800 m² of greenery in total
5,900 m² of office space
470 m² of retail space and 200 m² for the catering industry