The decision is made. Robbrecht and Daem architects will design the new building for the public broadcasting company VRT (Flemish Radio and Television). The architectural firm has formed a consortium with Dierendonckblancke, Arup UK and the VK Group. When news leaked last summer, the VRT denied that the decision had already been taken. Now it is official.
The jury said of the winning design: “The existing, boring office block will be replaced with a new building that is conceived as a ‘cultural and community centre’. At the heart of the building lies a polyvalent covered outdoor plaza that belongs to both the park (and the city) as well as the VRT, around which a theatre, a park theatre, and public green spaces will be situated.”
In response to the Open Call organised by the Flemish Government Architect, sixty-six candidates submitted designs for the new VRT building. From these entries, five offices were retained:
- Office for Metropolitan Architecture OMA, Rotterdam
- Christian Kerez Zürich AG, Zürich
- Temporary Association OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen – KCAP
- Temporary Association Robbrecht and Daem – Dierendonckblancke – Arup UK – VK group
- Temporary Association architects de vylder vinck taillieu – evr – doorzon – denis dujardin
With an area of 55,000m2, the new broadcasting building is estimated to cost 105 million euros. Construction will begin in 2017. The goal is for the public broadcaster to take up residence in 2021. Only the VRT tower will be preserved, and the Flemish Government Architect’s team will supervise the project. The VRT hopes that the new building will help it shed its image of being a ‘closed institution’.
Temporary Association Robbrecht and Daem – Dierendonckblancke architects – Arup UK – VK group
Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem’s architectural practice has been based in Ghent since 1975. Robbrecht and Daem architects have designed major projects such as the Concert Hall in Bruges, the ‘Stadshal’ and the central square in Ghent, Rubensplein in Knokke and Cinematek in Brussels. Based in Ghent since June 1999, Dierendonckblancke architects has grown up around Alexander Dierendonck and Isabelle Blancke. Dierendonckblancke have designed, amongst other projects, several cultural centres (in Avelgem and Beselare). The proposed core team also comprises VK Group (stability, special techniques and acoustic advice) and Arup UK (for technical installations, construction advice and acoustics).
The team is completed by:
- Bureau Bas Smets for landscaping
- Muller Van Severen for furnishing
- Grontmij for the cost control