Machelen-Diegem is a place to live near a metropolis and yet affordably and in green surroundings. This borough, with more than 13,000 inhabitants, is located between the arterial roads of Brussels, the capital of Europe, surrounded by airport facilities, road and railway infrastructure, and is near strategic economic development areas. The basic principles are attractive, but the balance between the various components is extremely delicate. The transport infrastructure means it is very easily accessible on a regional scale, but it cuts the local fabric into pieces. Machelen-Diegem is largely urbanised and is part of the ‘Flemish strategic area around Brussels’.
In 2009 a spatial structure plan for the borough was approved. It contains a fully developed concept for future developments. This plan proposes letting the green ribbons of stream valleys, existing parks and green buffer zones between office and residential areas grow towards and into each other and to expand. In this way we can create an S-shaped ribbon with substantial natural value in our borough.
In 2011 the council went one step further: a master-plan, with visual quality plan, was drawn up, with concrete solutions for the numerous proposals in the structure plan. The master-plan is intended to make small, local changes possible without causing overall cohesion to be lost. It plays the residential quality card and is intended to show that it is worthwhile living in this borough and that this will be guaranteed in the future. The generation of the master-plan goes hand in hand with an attractive communication and participation process called ‘transforMADIE 2020’. In this process the local council wants to take a new direction when developing its design projects, by consulting the residents from the moment the first sketches appear and involving them in the design.
Machelen local council is organising a new assignment to elicit further concrete form for the master-plan. It includes drawing up a design plan for 1) Machelen cemetery, 2) Diegem cemetery and 3) the municipal park in Diegem, including the adjoining historical Marga site, and 4) a participatory process.
Three project areas
Diegem cemetery is alongside Brussels’ ring-road. It is the first buffer that screens off the residential area and schools campus behind it. As a consequence of the widening of the eastern section of the ring-road, part of the cemetery will be compulsorily purchased. Machelen cemetery lies in an enclosed area and is surrounded by houses, but is nevertheless extremely isolated. Along one side it adjoins a warehouse owned by the local council
These cemeteries have to be transformed into burial parks where the physical barriers are broken down so that they acquire a natural and landscape value and can be incorporated into the green network and act as a connector between residential areas. The design plan will be phased in accordance with the plots that are released when concessions expire.
The municipal park in Diegem and the historical Marga site are adjacent to each other along Woluwelaan. The end of the park and the historical site immediately adjoin A. De Cockplein, the central village square in Diegem. This square currently has little quality as a place to spend time and is used chiefly as a car park. The local council aims to give this square greater worth in the urban fabric once again. The main goal is to make it a square on a human scale that is a multipurpose space with room for non-motor road users and an agreeable place to use and to spend time. The reorganisation of this square is not included in the present assignment, but the aims the local council has for the municipal park are an extension of those for the square. A study has to be made of how the park, in combination with the historical site and A. De Cockplein, will be able to restore the village centre. The design should provide starting points for the structuring of the wider surroundings, starting out from a small-scale approach oriented towards walking, cycling and play. The aim must be to restore the tranquillity of the village. For the re-organisation, a study must be made of how the new concept can contribute to the organisation of the annual cyclo-cross race and the Easter Fair in Diegem. To summarise, the local council wishes to add value to the municipal park together with the historical site by upgrading existing eco-systems (natural springs) in combination with the cultural history value of the Marga Tower (classified monument), together with the use of the site by various target groups.
These three projects, together with projects already launched (Bosveld, Begoniagaarde, De Heuve garden district, Schetsveld and neighbourhood parks), see to it that in a very short time a sizeable part of the borough will provide an example for the ecological management and sustainability of parks and gardens with an eye to biodiversity. In summary, it is a question of creating a green network that opens up opportunities to improve access for vulnerable road users, creating ecological links and water storage and adding aesthetic landscape qualities so that the borough becomes more pleasant for its inhabitants and visitors. The three project areas are three separate islands, but the reorganisation plan should aim to turn this into a single green lung that can contribute to the regulation of the urban climate by among other things a drastic reduction in CO2 so that we can improve the quality of life for the present and future generations.
A participatory design process
Lastly, the council wants to generate the design in the context of a participatory process. It expects the team to propose a process in which local actors, inhabitants and users are actively involved in the design process and help determine the design agenda. In addition, it must be checked whether there is a need for space for small-scale local initiatives.
For the execution of this assignment, Machelen council is looking for a multidisciplinary team with expertise and experience in sustainable design, spatial planning, landscape architecture and participatory processes.
All inclusive design assignment for the redesign of two cemeteries and a municipal park, including the adjoining Marga historical site and the assignment for a participatory guidance process, in Machelen-Diegem.
- Project description
There are four locations: • Machelen cemetery, Turcksinstraat, Kerkhofdreef, 1830 Machelen. • Diegem cemetery: Zaventemsesteenweg, 1831 Diegem. • Municipal park and the historical location Marga: De Cockplein, 1831 Diegem.
- Toewijzen opdracht aan de uitvoerders: 1 Jul 2017
Design contest followed by a negotiated procedure without publication of a contract notice
Total estimated investment: €5.037.500 -cemetery Machelen: €1.275.000 - cemetery Diegem: €1.162.500 - Municipal park and the historical location: €2.600.000 (excl. VAT) (excl. Fees)
Layout grounds: 5,25 %- 6 % (on the total estimed investment) / participatory project: according to proposal designer
€6.500 excl. VAT per candidate / 3 candidates