Project description

In the middle of the Citadel Park, Ghent’s largest municipal park, stands the International Congress Centre (ICC). The park is a classified landscape. The Ghent ICC is part of a large cluster of buildings that also houses ‘t Kuipke cycling arena and the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art (S.M.A.K.). The rear of each of the three buildings adjoins the impressive Flower Show Hall. It was built for the World Exhibition in 1913 as a giant centenary palace on the site of a former fort. The Flower Show Hall was the very first MICE infrastructure* in Belgium: in 1913 visitors from all over the world attended congresses and conferences at the World Exhibition.

A great many modifications have been made to the complex over the years. At the present time, we see that the S.M.A.K., the ICC, ‘t Kuipke and the Flower Show Hall are spatially and functionally separate from each other, which means that the last has lost its iconic nature and attraction. In this project we want to make the hall visible and accessible once again to those attending congresses at the ICC, neighbours of and visitors to the park, ‘t Kuipke, the S.M.A.K., the nearby Museum of Fine Art and interested tourists. The aim of this project is to restore the Flower Show Hall to its former glory and once again turn the spotlight on its inestimable heritage value. In this way it will again become the beating heart of the congress centre, the park and the neighbourhood and for the existing Ghent ICC we are establishing a new brand: ‘Ghent ICC on the Citadel site’.

This project fits in with the ‘Plan for the Renewal of the Citadel Park in Ghent’, drawn up by Ghent City Council in 2013 with the aim of reviving the whole of the Citadel site. This design approach provides for, among other things, the re-laying of the museum square, making the surroundings traffic-free and improving its accessibility by laying a tram line.

The aims of the project are:

  • Reducing the footprint by means of infill: we shall demolish the present Casino or Banqueting Hall and build two new multifunctional halls at the end of the Flower Show Hall. The ground thus vacated will become part of the park.
  • Transforming the Flower Show Hall into a space usable for ‘Ghent ICC on the Citadel site’, for tailormade plenary sessions or breakout sessions. The hall must also be usable for initiatives by the other actors in the cluster of buildings, the park, the neighbourhood and the city. Contact with the park and the surrounding buildings is to be intensified by making the facades as transparent as possible.
  • Making Ghent ICC a transparent, sustainable and state-of-the-art MICE venue. We are looking for intelligent synergies by which to upgrade the existing spaces in terms of fixtures and fittings, technical installations, contemporary standards and energy performance, whereby the main objective is a substantial improvement of the visitor experience. The intention is that the Ghent ICC will receive its visitors in a venue with more daylight, links with the heritage surroundings (nature and building), improved thermal and acoustic comfort and clearer circulation. The new brand – ‘Ghent ICC on the Citadel site’ – should be evident in the way the venue is experienced.

The assignment comprises fixed and conditional elements. The fixed parts are: drawing up the master-plan, implementing the internal reorganisation/renovation in the existing ICC (in two stages), the interior design of the two stacked multifunctional halls in the Casino end of the Flower Show Hall, the demolition of the Azalea Hall and the linking passage, the building of a new entrance volume and the reorganisation of breakouts in the ICC.

The conditional parts of the assignment are: the creation of a new logistical corridor in the park, the internal move of the catering facilities to the side of the new logistical corridor, the renovation of the Flower Show hall and the building of a new, underground logistical level under the nave of the Flower Show Hall.

If the conditional parts of the assignment are executed by third parties, the principal may give the author of the master-plan the task of supervising the work. So this supervisory task is also part of the conditional element of the assignment.

The execution of each conditional part depends on a separate decision by the principal. The principal is bound only by the fixed part of the assignment. He may terminate the assignment at any time and/or award the conditional elements of the assignment wholly or partly to third parties without being liable to pay any compensation. If the principal terminates the assignment prematurely, it will only be liable for the fees for those parts of the design assignment that have actually been carried out.

At the Open Call stage, the designers will be asked to give their reflections on the available feasibility study for each supplemental assignment, with added reference images to indicate what further development might look like. For the supplemental assignment for the multifunctional halls at the Casino end of the building, a draft design is requested (floor plans and cross-sections), with a few additional 3D impressions and an estimate of the separate elements. Lastly, the principal wishes to receive a document on the subject of the concept of the sustainable approach, cost management and a plan for tackling the work process.

* MICE: Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions.



Internal reorganisation in the ICC




Interior design of multifunctional halls at end of Flower Show Hall + part of gallery




Moving of catering facilities to the logistical corridor (supervisory task in probable quantity)

Price per vacatie


Layout of logistical corridor in the park




Clustering of various sequential works as a single series (demolition of Azalea Hall and passage, new entrance volume and opening up the facade towards the Flower Show Hall, reorganisation of breakouts in the ICC)




Restoration of Flower Show Hall




Underground logistical level under Flower Show Hall




For assignments 1,2 and 5: including Architecture, Stability, Technical Installations, Acoustics, EPB reporting.

For assignments 3 and 4: subdivision of disciplines does not apply.

For assignments 6 and 7: including Architecture, Stability, Technical Installations, EPB reporting.







25,200 euro (excl. VAT)


Gent OO3502

The design assignment for drawing up a master-plan for the conversion/restoration of the ICC/Flower Show Hall in Ghent and the full or partial implementation of this master-plan (subsequent assignments) and/or the task of supervising the implementation of the master-plan

Project status
Selected agencies
  • 51N4E bvba, NU architectuuratelier
  • architecten de vylder vinck taillieu, Henk Pijpaert Engineering bvba, Studieburo Mouton bvba, Studio Roma, VOGT Landscape Limited
  • CRIT./Peter Swinnen, Lacaton & Vassal Architectes
  • l'AUC, MOS Architects PLLC

Van Rysselberghedreef 2, 9000 Gent
Citadel Park

Timing project
  • Selectievergadering: 31 Aug 2018

Nv Citadel Finance

contact Client

Wouter Notebaert (sogent)

Contactperson TVB

Mario Deputter


Design contest followed by a negotiated procedure without publication of a contract notice


€40,486,746 (excl. VAT) (excl. Fees)


see project description

Awards designers

€15,400 (excl. VAT) per candidate, 5 candidates are selected.


Lijst kandidaten OO3502
Selectieverslag OO3502