• Vaartkomplein


    Design - Programming - Placemaking


    Event production



    The Vaartkom is a creative neighborhood at the Leuven harbour. By rerouting the old roads to the renewed Engels Plein, a new pedestrianised square in front of the OPEK Arts Centre arose. Onkruid redesigned the space giving it a temporary function for a period of around five years.

    The design was conceived in three zones: the existing terrace of the local bar, the former road and the elevated plaza connected to the canal. On that square, two large wooden structures were placed in the extension of the harbour banks. On one hand a variation on a classical tribune, on the other hand an open seating and playing landscape. Both pieces of furniture were designed according to the size of the urban room. Their position reinforces the visual axis of the Vaartkom and preserves the link with the arts centre.

    The space between the two structures serves as a (in)formal play scene. Perfect for mini football, open-air theater productions or birthday parties. The function of the former motorway that runs between terrace and square has been erased. However, by retaining the road marking the memory didn't disappear. In the former car zone circular openings were cut into the asfalt in which the green literally comes back up. From an accessible grass hill, to fruit bushes to a mini birch forest.

    The temporary space is a binding element for the neighborhood. It's an experiment where originality and creativity can meet and offer identity without sacrificing safety. The temporary layout of the square offers a chance to discover the possibilities & wishes of the space and its neighbourhood. Onkruid initiated a few activities and opening event to embed the place in the city and with its residents.