Design by: OKRA landschapsarchitecten www.okra.nl realised 2011-2012
Together with: Studiebureau Atelier Ruimtelijk Advies
Here, something special has been done. The square feels friendly and humane. The plants give the square a softness and you still get a sense of the history of the place. Presumably, this is the birthplace of Mechelen. Through the centuries this place has been used as a market, primarily as a grain market. Halfway of the previous century, the car took over. It became a parking and a leftover space.
In 2011 the square got a complete make-over. Room was made for pedestrians and the cars have to give priority to cyclists. Parking was solved in a garage. Trees were planted to soften the stony appearance and to improve the air quality and create some shade at the same time. In low planting planes, decorative grasses and flowering plants were placed to enliven the place. The square is slightly tilted; the part near the river is lower. To accentuate the height difference, lazy steps were used along the width of the square. The square is originally located on a sand ridge. To refer to this, the designers used sand coloured materials.
Special about this square is that it is also home to the oldest ‘Frietkot’ in town. This is a place where they sell the typical Belgium potato fries. So you can sit pleasantly at the square and enjoy a classic snack.