The church council of Our Lady in Herentals is looking for a strong and sensitive design team that can assist it in the construction of a contemporary Catholic church. The construction of the church is part of the legacy that the church received from Ms Maria Verstappen, widow of Hubert Le Paige, the last inhabitant and heir of the castle park of the same name. She bequeathed her legacy to the Fabric Committee of Our Lady, with the accompanying proviso to build a new church.
The church council wishes to comply with this explicit request, but at the same time wishes to tackle this assignment from a realistic perspective. The initial condition of the legacy – ‘to convert the castle into a church or if this is not possible to establish a church on its site’ – has today become a difficult task. Indeed, the castle and the park have both been listed as monument and conservation area, respectively.
The new church is first and foremost a place of prayer that meets the conditions regarding churches as described in canonical law, in particular canon 1214 and further. The church offers space for wedding celebrations, baptisms and funeral rites, adapted to the pastoral cares of today and tomorrow. Weekly masses do not take place there. In addition, it must be possible to hold occasional lectures and concerts on site. This implies that the church must have exceptional spatial, acoustic and technical qualities, and must be able to serve a range of purposes.
The church must address seekers of meaning in a religious language and invite them to a moment of tranquillity. The building must combine beauty and originality with a strong identity and symbolic aura, and bear witness to a high artistic quality and contemporary view on sacredness. Both inside and outside, the church must meet the needs of a public that is looking for a spiritual and inviting pause, a place for reflection, resourcing and wonder. At the same time it must form a locus of attraction for passers-by, walkers and tourists. In short, a broad and diverse public must experience the building as inviting.
The church is not only a place of prayer, but also a place that lends itself to meetings and culture. With this in mind, it must have a seating capacity of 150. It must be provided with a sacristy, storage space and bathroom facilities.
In addition, the principal wishes to create a place that engages in a harmonious relation with the environment. The castle domain, water, nature and church must be integrated in an overall concept. The symbolic character of the church must moreover be emphasized by a reference to or a connection with the surrounding water. The interior and exterior must reinforce one another since the church must radiate a sense of simplicity and peacefulness in the midst of its surroundings. An element could be integrated that comes from or refers to the current church building of Our Lady, like the statue of Our Lady in ‘t Zand, which dates from the fifteenth century and is of particular value to the church council.
This aim implies that the church is not an autonomous building, but is part of the existing urban fabric. The castle park and the site of the Church of Our Lady are located at the junction between the city and the landscape. A place that today is highly fragmented and difficult to read, but which at the same time is the target of many spatial claims. The project area is home to a valuable historic rampart structure and has the capacity to make the valley of the Kleine Nete tangible in the built environment. In addition, the castle, the nearby coach house and the Oude Gasthuis site are part of a listed area in which these buildings play an important visual role.
The design assignment is therefore also multifaceted. In the first instance, the design team must assist the principal in determining the preferred location for the construction of the church and in the all-inclusive execution assignment for its realization.
In addition, the principal requires a vision on the future economic development possibilities of the zone in which the current church building is located, taking into account the role that this place can play within the green-blue and leisure network and within the existing heritage structures. The economic profitability of this zone must in future generate the necessary means for the maintenance of the church in the longer term.
A summary of the existing planning context and the research by design already carried out can shed light on the broader possibilities of the area and therefore also forms a part of this assignment.
- Overall design-based expertise with relation to the project assignment;
- Professional competence;
- Relevant experience.
- the quality of the concept and vision and of the research by design in light of the aims and expectations of the public principal as formulated in the specifications, and this:
1.1. in a broad social framework
1.2. applied more functionally to the practical requirements of the user
- process-orientation, process-readiness, spiritual consideration
- the approach to sustainability (the extent to which the chosen interventions contribute to an efficient and future-oriented use of the available space)
- the estimate of the project cost and the fee
- the suggested phasing and the approach plan
- the composition and expertise of the design team
The respective weighting of the allocation criteria is as follows: 4/3/2/1/1/1.
The weight of the subcriteria is 1.
All-inclusive study assignment for the elaboration of a development vision and for the construction of a contemporary Catholic church and sacred meeting space in the broader surroundings of the Church of Our Lady in Herentals.
- Project description
- Corbey Ringoir, Reiulf Ramstad Architects
- Geert de Groote Architecten bvba
- i.s.m.architecten, Muoto Architectes
- TEd'A arquitectes
The project site comprises the site of the Church of Our Lady, of the adjacent coach house and of the nearby castle park Le Paige
- Selectievergadering: 14 May 2019
- Indienen: 18 Nov 2019
- Jury: 22 Nov 2019
Kerkfabriek Onze-Lieve-Vrouw te Herentals
Deken Norbert Wauters
Competitive procedure with negotiation
€2,500,000 of which €300,000 for the layout of the surroundings and €2,200,000 for the building / Estimated number of square metres built programme: 300m² (excl. VAT) (excl. Fees)
€30,000 development vision / General fee range (architecture, stability, technical installations): 11.3% - 15.1% / Fee range for the layout of the surroundings: 6% - 8.5%. Including: interior, site coordination, safety coordination, EPB (all excl. VAT)
€15,000 (excl. VAT) per candidate, 4 candidates