Dunant Gardens

Gent

Concept

The former CIAC garage is located between the Einde Were and Henri Dunantlaan streets, on the outskirts of the city, between the 19th century residential Ekkergem and semi urban landscape surrounding the Watersportbaan. Built back in 1964, the modernist garage has a long and fascinating history.

However, due to lack of space and the technical limitations of the building, the garage business moved to a more suitable location. This prompted the need to convert the old site. These new functions had already been established for a while in the municipal spatial implementation plan of 2007, which aimed for this location to accommodate a sufficiently large, varied and high-quality housing supply.

From the start of the design process it was important that some non-listed, yet architecturally valuable façades of the CIAC garage should be preserved. For instance, the section of the façade at the corner of the Beneluxplein and Henri Dunantlaan features a graceful flowing line, accentuated by a slender concrete cornice: a fine example of modernist garage architecture. Several residential complexes come behind this façade, accommodating 197 housing units, 52 of which assisted living residences with an underground car park. The meandering residential blocks create four semi-public inner gardens and bring closer together the green outdoors and residential living. On the 5th and 6th levels the buildings are designed as penthouses to visually reduce the volume of the block and allow more daylight and sunlight into the inner gardens. 7 small commercial and retail units are planned at street level. The old 600 m² showroom on the Beneluxplein will serve as retail space.

Information

client T.H.V. Besix R.E.D. nv and Immogra (SDGB nv)
site Einde Were – Dunantlaan – Beneluxplein, Gent
architects Designers: Bontinck A&E icw Fretton Architects
Landscape architect: Eric Dhont
function 145 apartments and 52 assisted living residences, retail, small commercial and office/practice units
area Area: 27,000 m²
Underground car park: 7,500 m²
completion date 2019
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