The Port of Gent was historically located in the city centre. Large-scale port developments forced the ports´ main infrastructure to leave the city, attenuating the bond between the citizens and the port activity. To stop this social and physical detachment, the decision was made to build a visitor’s centre at the meeting point between them: the edge of the dock.
From inside the building one can look out far into the 3 km long infrastructure, straight into the belly of the harbour. This is a unique opportunity as many times the view of the water in the port area is obstructed by companies headquarters, warehouses or factories.
The building is situated in the midst of various traffic flows. It is a reference point between the trajectories of port cranes, mooring cruise ships, routes of port workers and the car traffic on the R4, locally known as the ring rond.
Photos (1-3): Filip Dujardin
Competition: First Prize
Program: visitors centre in the Port of Gent
Client: Havenbedrijf Gent nv
Surface: 783 m² / 2.076 m² (incl parking)