Social housing - Laarne, Belgium
Professional project, 2013

A valuable venue for intergenerational meetings and social support is being created on the site of the former St. Macharius monastery in Laarne, to the south of Ghent. New social and cultural functions will be added and the distinctive monastery buildings will be surrounded by expressive landscaping to create a coherent whole with the existing welfare centre and a new social housing.

The three buildings to house the new functions are situated close together and are distinguished by their age and architectural language. In order to retain their individual identity while placing them in a common context, LÖHMANN’S opted for a simple but effective architectural theme – a structure of wooden mullions – which gives form to the ‘repairs’ and modifications to the existing buildings.
New social housing will be built on the site of the farmhouse, integrating the characteristic long facade of the stable buildings into the new elevation. Placed as volumes in front of the façade, the wooden mullions here form the entrances to the homes, which also gives a certain amount of zoning between the public and private space.
The vegetable and herb garden, the large flowerpots in front of the social housing and the trees in the orchard can be adopted by the residents, children, employers of the welfare institute or visitors to the welfare centre. Besides generating involvement with the space and a sense of responsibility for it, this also stimulates informal contact and exchanges between different generations and cultures.

Client: OCMW Laarne and SBK Dendermonde for the social housing
Size: 655m2
Project Architect: Heike Löhmann
in collaboration with: Holger Gladys
Contributors: Ifigeneia Dilaveraki, Sander Janssen, Egle Matulaityte, Egle Suminskaite
Landscape architect: Dirk Vandekerkhove landschapsarchitecten · Ghent
Building services: studiebureau Boydens · Bruges
Structural engineer: NEY+ Partners · Brussels
Advice and logistics in Belgium: POLO architects · Antwerp



Ifigeneia Dilaveraki