De Leet and surroundings, Ieper

Ieper de Leet

In cooperation with the Belgium architects SUM, Bureau B+B designed the master plan for the urban renewal of the medieval town center of Ieper. The goal was to rearrange the fragmented public space into a coherent city core. In order to do so, the historical identity was highlighted while creating opportunities for contemporary city life.

The historical core of Ieper is composed of the St-Martins Cathedral, the Laken Hall and the Great Market. However, in the immediate surroundings, the grandeur of the center is completely lost. The public space is engineered for traffic and is dominated by parking lots. The green surrounding the Cathedral is fragmented, therefore by adjusting the traffic scheme, we mold this area 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 re-create 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 including buildings, statues, archways and alleys. These historical relicts are given central positions in the public space. Inspired by the medieval church garden, the green core is surrounded by a distinctive natural stone border that functions as a pathway, as a threshold and as a seating element.

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