De Leet and surroundings, Ieper

Ieper de Leet

In cooperation with the Belgium architects SUM, Bureau B+B made the master plan for the urban renewal of the medieval town center of Ieper. We rearranged the fragmented public space into a coherent city core. Additional planting and water make public space a more pleasant place to be. We highlight the historical identity while also creating opportunities for contemporary city life.

Coherence
The historical core of Ieper is composed of the St-Martins Cathedral, the Laken Hall and the Great Market. In the immediate surroundings however, the grandeur of the center is lost completely. Here, public space is engineered for traffic an space is dominated by parking lots. The green surrounding the Cathedral is fragmented. By adjusting the traffic scheme, we mold this area together into a green counterpart of the Great Market.

The Leet
Ieper was founded along the river Ieperlee. Today, it flows underground, beneath the parking lot on the Peerenboom Square (the Leet). The parking lot is relocated in order to make room for terraces. This offers the opportunity to recreate the Leet symbolically, as a water feature. Water plants and fountains enhance the water-experience. Now, the Peerenboom Square functions as a natural link between the Great Market and the green area surrounding the Cathedral.

Cultural History
Several sights and monuments remind us of the rich history of Ieper; buildings, statues, archways and alleys. These historical relicts are given space to breathe and a prominent view. We build a stage on top of the fundaments of the bishops palace. Inspired by the medieval church garden, the green core is surrounded by a distinctive natural stone border, that partly functions as a pathway, partly as a threshold and partly as a seating element.

  • Location: Grote Markt, Ieper, BelgiĆ«
  • Client: City of Ieper
  • Partners: SUM