FORMstudio was approached by Beta Developments to produce a masterplan for the regeneration of the Voorhaven docks in Gent, Belgium. As in many cities, the docks had fallen into disuse as the size of container ships had increased and sea freight activity had moved further out from the centre, leaving behind many fine 19th Century iron-framed industrial buildings.
The proposals included new transport infrastructure and a mix of new uses including a concert hall, business centre, public square, market/exhibition hall, social centre, workshop spaces and a hard landscaped civic square. The latter featuring an outdoor performance space housed beneath the iconic salvaged art nouveau structure of Victor Horta’s 1899 Maison de Peuple (demolished in 1965).
This masterplan was then refined and developed in conjunction with Euro Waterways to bid for EU money for the regeneration of the area, which is now being progressed – albeit without the Horta structure, which can now be seen in Antwerp, where it forms the framework of the Horta Café.