Boekentoren - University Library  Ghent, Belgium, 2007 - ongoing

© Kristien Daem

© Stijn Bollaert

© Thomas Hick

© Stijn Bollaert

© Kristien Daem

© Kristien Daem

© Kristien Daem

© Kristien Daem

Program
conservation and renovation of the university library by Henry van de Velde (1939)

Client
Ghent University

Location
Ghent, Belgium

Date
2007 - 2021

Status
competition 1st prize
Phase 1, 2 and 3 finalised

Floor surface
20.000 sqm

Architects
Robbrecht en Daem architecten

 
Execution
SumProject Architecture & Engineering
Architectenbureau Baro

Collaborators 
Kristoffel Boghaert
Katrien Cammers
Asli Cicek
Tine Cooreman
Florence Daem
Barbara Deceuninck
Arne Deruyter
Frédéric De Vylder
Linde Everaerd
Gert Jansseune
Jolien Naeyaert
Sofie Reynaert
 
Structural engineering
Bureau d'Etudes Greisch
 
Services engineering
VK Engineering

Restoration
Barbara Van Der Wee Architects

Building physics
Daidalos Peutz

Archive design and planning
De Melker Logistiek
 
Lead Contractor
Furnibo (stage 1), BAM-Renotec (stage 2), Artes Depret – Roegiers – Woudenberg (stage 3)

The Central Library of Ghent University, designed by Henry van de Velde in the 1930s, is being restored and geared to the current requirements of library use and conservation. To this end, an entrance will be built next to the HIKO, which is part of the original complex, that will generate a new sequence of spaces around the inner garden. This includes among other things a café/reading room, a canopied terrace (which Van de Velde had actually designed) and workspaces for handling digital data individually or in groups. Together with the necessary technical modifications, and making the observation room at the top of the tower fully accessible, this clear-up will restore the building's dignity as a place for study and reading.