Porte de Ninove
Located between the municipalities of Brussels and Molenbeek, on the banks of the canal, the Ninove Gate was for a long time a neglected industrial void at the gates of the city. Today, the park meets its objectives: to connect the neighborhoods, to create social interaction , to accommodate a wide variety of user profiles without conflict of use, to improve biodiversity and water management.
The project was approached as a co-creative process in which users were involved in the design downstream. Now that the park is open for use, the meadow offers the opportunity to adapt to the needs of users. As the city and its residents evolve, so will the park.
Three thematic public workshops were organized. The first one focused on soil, water, vegetation, the second on pathways, lighting, furniture, and the third one on uses. The first draft project was presented to the workshop participants, in order to have a feedback and to verify that we had a consensus around the options ta- ken. The kiosk that will soon be built will not be a purely commercial place. There will be a small organic restaurant with a professional training vocation. It will also have a social and cultural mission.
This new public space fulfills essential needs demanded by users: to connect and bring life to the neighborhoods, to become a green spot, and to fulfill the needs for playing activities, sports, culture and relaxation. As early as 6 a.m., joggers use the round alleys as training tracks. A great mix of people occupy the place, crowded as soon as the weather is good.
In the center of the facility, a vast urban mea- dow is designed as a succession of sloping rings, allowing, through a play of steps and slopes, to protect from nuisances while offering an open space. The rings allow for the installation of long linear benches serving as observation and rest points. The whole geometry is based on
the layout of the old lock buried under the site. Around the meadow are placed the different cir- culations, furniture and services, as well as seve- ral islands, treated as gardens, allowing to offer a maximum of green surface on the whole site.
In the heart of the meadow, a wet garden re- minds the importance of water and of the canal in the history of the site. The entire plant col- lection is characteristic of the wet valleys of the Senne, the former waterway of Brussels, now buried.
This study is led by Bruxelles-environnement (which will be responsible for the future management of the park), financed by Bruxelles-Mobilité and supervised by the BMa unit. The work will be financed and managed by Beliris.