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In September 2020, the municipality of Zonhoven / Belgium launched a competition to draw up a master plan for the public space of its village heart. An important ambition of the master plan was initially to open up the Roosterbeek, to strengthen the green character and the residing quality of the public space and to maintain accessibility and commercial functions in the center.
Together with Geosted, MTD landscape architects developed a competition design that, in addition to a master plan for the entire core of Zonhoven, also makes a number of detailed design proposals for sub-areas; ‘the Roosterbeek Park Zonhoven’.
After the submission of the plans in November 2020, the jury awarded 1st prize to the competition design by team Geostad / MTD.
The master plan 'the Roosterbeekpark Zonhoven' mainly focuses on making the historical origin of Zonhoven legible again; at the intersection of Dorpsstraat and Roosterbeek. By reopening the stream, the cohesion of ribbon and brook valley is restored. The stream then acquires a new meaning as a park within the center. This creates a green meeting place with a natural atmosphere in the heart of Zonhoven, on a place where the cemetery was originally located next to the church, which, in addition to ecological and recreational values, can also be used for water retention and climate adaptation.
At the intersection of the ribbon and the Roosterbeek, the buildings will be broken open, so that the brook valley can be optimally experienced from this spot. The intersection is designed as a bridge, so that the proximity of the water here is actually experienced and visible. The new building block to be developed here appears to be an excellent location for a catering facility with a terrace on the stream.
The new Roosterbeek Park connects the landscape qualities of the stream valley with the cultural-historical green qualities of the former cemetery and with contemporary sustainable qualities. The park potentially forms an attractive meeting and place to stay, where residents and visitors of Zonhoven can cool down during hot summer days and experience the stream and nature. Due to the robust planting and water connection, important biological and ecological values are also developed in the park and the redeveloped brook valley. The Roosterbeek Park thus forms a pleasant and green counterpart to the Nieuwe Kerkplein, directly south of the park.
The square is largely defined by the introduction of a new striking village hall. The square has room for the Sunday market and other events. But it is above all and above all a pleasant place to enjoy the view from a terrace of the historic church and town hall and the monumental trees in the brook valley or of the passers-by in the Dorpsstraat to be redeveloped.
In order to guarantee the quality of the stay, it is also important to make the village center traffic-calmed. To this end, it has been proposed to narrow the lane of the Dorpsstraat and to close it between tires. From the Dorpsstraat, a ring road has been introduced around the square and Roosterbeek Park with one main driving direction. The main commercial and parking facilities are located on this access ring.