An eco-campus for Diepenbeek

The continuous development of the site of the campus in Diepenbeek demands a reflection on larger scales. Occupying a strategic position between Hasselt, Genk and Diepenbeek, the site is related to larger-scale environmental conditions including ecologically active areas and flood zones. Thus the project is conceptualized at a regional scale rather than delimited by the site of today’s campus. Various elements inform this new masterplan that will structure the campus’ growth for the coming decade: water, ecology, slow and public transport, built structures.

A central urban axis will organize the expansion of the campus. This new east-west backbone, largely composed of public space, is a great connector and collector that weaves together academic faculties, research institutes and campus services buildings. This central structure will act as the new spine of the campus, welcoming students to professional life, cultural and social activities.

The spatial strategy for the expansion of the campus is inspired by the three characteristic landscapes of the site: the forests and lakes along the Miezerikbeek, the meadows of the Demer Valley and the agricultural fields surrounded by planted dykes. Diverse typologies and principles are developed in order to reinforce these landscapes, all with respect for their contributions to enriching biodiversity.

As a fundamental strategy, the campus will transform by adjusting mobility and parking strategies, introducing a north-south connection of public spaces and a hub for public transport and by reinforcing the characteristic landscapes of the territory.

The first expansion of the campus will be structured within the landscape of the agricultural fields and planted dykes, where the central east-west axis will be densified and actively programmed.

  • Program / Project: DIEPENBEEK / Campus
  • Client: Province of Limburg
  • Project management: Agence Ter (lead designer) + IMDC
  • Area: 380 ha
  • Date: 2015 - 2018
  • Location: Diepenbeek, Belgium