This project is developed as an entry for an urban design competition, issued by the city of Genk and Team Flemish Government Architect. For its design, MMKM teamed up with 51N4E (BE), Mobility in Chain (IT), Rebel Group (BE) and Technum (BE). The team was appointed as one of four laureate teams.

Genk is an atypical Flemish town where a quite specific history has led to an unusual spatial structure and a socially differentiated fabric. A town that thrives on diversity, but which thereby finds itself facing the complexity of a polycentric urban structure with extremely heterogeneous focal points and varying forms of connectivity.

Genk opts for the ‘grid town’ as its developmental model, where the polycentric development can be a starting point and an asset. The development of the station surroundings plays a crucial part in the link between the centre and the focal points and in the development of the town in general.

The city is currently looking at a reorientation of economic activity, with new urban dynamics as a consequence. The spatial form this will take is still unpredictable, but it is thus even more important to define a clear framework within which these dynamics can unfold in the future.

A crucial element is a sustainable transport model, which underpins the specific spatial composition of the town and enhances the connectivity between people and the various parts of the town. The station surroundings should become a paragon of new, green mobility and play a key part in this model. The station surroundings should be a catalyst for the launch of new and innovative transport projects.

cases overview

Our proposal is an overlapping network of 4 interventions, each focusing on a different area, mobile mode and field of transition. Together they form a vast framework for the future of Genk.

Case A: City promenade

Precise interventions on the scale of the neighbourhood organise a local 'exchange' of different elements (the green structures, pedestrian area, programmed structures) between the systems north and south of the Europalaan. The underutilised tunnel gets a new use.

Case B: Mobi-Labo

A test case which examines the potential of the city to become a hub for alternative mobility models -and practices in Genk, and beyond. It explores the potential of an integrated intervention in several areas, ranging from research on the vehicle itself, as the business model behind this system, the public space that can produce it, and the potential of such an installation for programmatic connections between different polarities.

Case C: Green gate

This case provides the missing link between the city center and the future park along the Stiemerbeekvallei. A route leaving the transferium in the station area is rolled out along the tracks and transforms the strip between the Europalaan and the railway into a green campus.

Case D: Day & night centre

 This case focuses on the expansion of the role of the administrative centre into a regional pole that attracts a younger audience. It envisions a complementary evening -and weekend programming, which makes use of the excellent accessibility of the location.

Project delivered in
February 2016