Architecture Workroom

Torhout— experiential and identity study

In the near future, the City of Torhout wants to invest in the renewal and enhancement of its city centre. By requesting an 'experiential and identity study' the city is approaching this urban renewal with the aim of not only achieving a leap in spatial, but also in social quality.

Architecture Workroom, in association with the photographer Marie-Françoise Plissart, is mapping out the unique character and future challenges facing the City of Torhout.

The aim of this experiential study is to identify the experience and experiential awareness of the residents of Torhout and where the main challenges lie from the perspective of the city’s inhabitants and users. Special attention will be devoted to the use and appropriation of the public space by diverse groups. Building on the insights of this study, we will jointly formulate the project definition for the Open Call of the Flemish Government Architect's Team (Open Oproep van het Team Vlaams Bouwmeester) for a city centre renewal project. This experiential study constitutes the first step in activating local knowledge, insights and ideas. The participation of local actors will also be key in the subsequent phase. This means that in addition to spatial design, specific attention will also be demanded for a methodical approach, in which knowledge exchange and the exploration of collaborations between local parties is paramount. This methodical approach focuses on the implementation of a city centre renewal project in the long term (in phases and offering flexibility), as well as on specific actions in the relatively short term, which deliver a visible result.

Torhout is a small city located in the middle of West Flanders, surrounded by forests, arable land and meadows, but it also offers easy access and connections to the surrounding central cities of Bruges, Roeselare and Ostend. These qualities provide an enduring appeal. The population of Torhout has continued to steadily grow in recent decades: from 13,500 inhabitants in the 1960s to approximately 20,300 inhabitants today. In recent years, diverse initiatives have been launched related to spatial projects on different levels of scale in Torhout and the surrounding area. These range from a land development plan to make the rural environment of Groenhove and Vrijgeweid more attractive for residents and recreationists, to plans to develop residential expansion areas, or the construction of cycle highways to surrounding municipalities. In the city centre there are also a number of potentially interesting development sites and valuable public properties (such as the former city hall), which currently remain underutilised or unused. There is a need for a clear vision for the future, so that these scattered initiatives and diverse opportunities can be better aligned and thus also have an improved chance of success. At the same time it is important that this future vision also looks forward and takes account of the demographic, economic and ecological challenges that Torhout - as part of a much larger urbanising landscape - will face in the longer term. Themes such as an aging population, the relationship between the city and the landscape, sustainable mobility and strengthening the local economy are key in this respect. In this way the role, position and significance of the City of Torhout can also be redefined within the wider environment.

In the experiential and identity study, we will use observations and discussions with residents, users, entrepreneurs, city officials, and representatives of associations and organisations, to map out today's focal points and Torhout’s characteristic and unique elements. A number of workshops will also be organised in which the participants will be challenged to reflect on the desired future development of Torhout via well-defined themes.


Launch OASE 96 Social Poetics— The Architecture of Use and Appropriation
From cure to care— transitions in the healthy city of Utrecht
Atelier Brussels— Urban Meeting IABR
Urban Meeting Bozar— The Productive Metropolis
Imagine Europe— Bozar
Atelier Brussels— The Productive Metropolis
Call for design teams— Atelier Brussels The Productive Metropolis
Development strategy— Ostend Eastern Shore
Review of spatial structure plan— Bruges City
The City as Factory— Buda Workroom
Colloquium — Architecture in Belgium and Turkey: Changing practices
Architecture Culture Platform
Ghent Muide-Meulestede
IABR 2016 — Atelier Utrecht: The Healthy City
Publication—Reweaving the Urban Carpet
Eurodelta 2030 - 2100
Eurometropolitan Blue Space
Atelier— Productive BXL
Atelier de Stad— Brussels
Lecture — Mark Brearley
Festival Kanal Play Ground
Metropolitan Coast Landscape 2100
IABR 2014 Urban by Nature— Atelier Brabantstad
Exploration of the Future of Flemish Land Company (VLM)
Productive Space By Design— conference
Strategic vision— Kern Rechteroever in Aalst
Strategic exploration— pilot projects productive landscape
Atelier— In Between
Atelier à Habiter— Exhibition
Preparatory workshop— development plan for Sidaplax in Ghent
Atelier De Stad Brussels— Kanal Play Ground
International Atelier— Eurometropolis
Expert advice— 'Nieuw Gent'
Preparatory workshop— housing development plan in Kapellen
Publication—The Ambition of the Territory
Symposium—Naar een gedeelde ontwerpagenda voor Vlaanderen
Vlaanderen als Ontwerp— Atelier
The Ambition of the Territory— deSingel International Arts Campus
Lecture—Carolyn Steel - The Hungry City
Changing Cultures of Planning— Rotterdam, Zürich, Nantes, Randstad, Bordeaux
Towards a Visionary Housing Production in Flanders
Guide plan—Brussels canal
The Ambition of the Territory—Belgian Pavilion Venice 2012
Making City—5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
Project definition—new prison in Haren
Building for Brussels— Architecture and urban transformation in Europe
Making City—Atelier Istanbul
G A R D E N— Parckdesign 2012
Open House Brussels—debates and artistic parcours
Exhibition—Making City
Exploring the metropolitan condition
The Next Economy— Belgium at The International Architecture Biennale 2016
Master Class—120% Brussels
City Trajectory—Brussels Canal
Program—Building For Brussels
Exhibition—Building for Brussels
Exhibition—Architecture for Justice
Concept studios—Spatial Policy Plan of Flanders
Article A+ 282 village— Cultivate the food landscape
Vacancy - Operational Director (w/m/x)
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Vacancy— Research collaborators
Vacancy— Communication manager
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Publication— Architectuurcultuur in Vlaanderen (only in NL)
Workshop II— Delta Atelier Urban Management
Air For Schools workshop— Keizer Karellaan and Leopold II-tunnel
Netwerkbijeenkomst— Ontwerp met Beleid
Bap! Biennale of architecture and landscape of Île-de-France— 1st edition
Socio-spatial study— Baudelo Building Ghent
Water+Land+Scape approved
Urbanising in Place— Rosario Workshop
Social-spatial research— Ghent Sint-Pieters
Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial Edition 2018— Rising Waters
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Announcement — IABR-THE MISSING LINK Rotterdam and Brussels
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IABR–2018+2020–The Missing Link— Delta Atelier
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Publication— Designing the Future
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IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Energy transition as an urban project
IABR-Atelier Rotterdam— Call to Architects
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Open Space Platform— Publication Operation Open Space
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Designing The Future— series of debates
Atelier Brussels— Masterclasses
Atelier Brussels— Lectures Structure and Stimulus
Atelier Brussels— Urban Walks
Antwerp— Study to map the livability of neighbourhoods
Atelier Brussels— Expo A Good City Has Industry
Spoor Oost— Urban Renewal Project
City of Bruges— Week of the City
Zeebrugge Revitalisation— Urban Renewal Project
Torhout— experiential and identity study
With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.