Community Center Sharphout
In collaboration with:
Shivam Raj (CU)
Lukas Bonte (HW)
Jari Aelbrecht (HW)
Thibault Gosseye (HW)
Elias T’Joens (HW)
The SLAC (Sports, Leisure, and Culture) Community Center in Lissewege is my fifth and as of right now last design. It was a group assignment (with our group consisting of six members), five students, including me, from Howest and one exchange student from the Chandigarh University in India.
We were assigned to develop a community center for the small city of Lissewege, a town close to Bruges and the coastal village of Zeebrugge. Situated on the former site of the local youth movement the community center had to answer to the following requirements; one multi-functional hall (a sports hall with all necessary facilities like changing rooms, showers, a doctor’s office, etc.), smaller sports facilities to house dance-classes and/or martial arts, a new building for the youth movement and a space for cultural societies with catering facilities.
The location is in close proximity to the N31, a highway connecting Bruges with the port of Zeebrugge and is surrounded by a residential area and a small industrial complex in the north. The station and the city center are situated east of the site, formally known as Scharphout.
The design strives to make the building and the location itself more accessible not just for locals but also for visitors who pass by on their way to the sea. An elevated path, similar to the Highline in New York City, leads visitors from the highway to the complex where the path spirals down to the Plaza which grants access to every part of the building. Most of the complex consists of two floors, one on ground-level and one on sub-terranean-level.
The multi-functional hall (which can host almost every sporting event), it’s facilities, and the smaller sports hall form one volume, taking in most of the upper side of the lot. All parts are connected by a gallery, where the floor-to-ceiling windows offer a stunning view of the plaza and the rest of the complex. The building of the youth movement (which can also house other organizations) is located on the lower right corner of the site, almost completely separated from the rest of the complex with only a small underground pathway that connects them. It consists of a central block containing all secondary functions like the restrooms, showers, storage rooms, the elevator, and the stairwell. This central block divides the building into two parts with 2 big rooms that can equally be divided into two smaller rooms, making it 4 in total. Both of them adjacent to even bigger storage rooms that have access to the outdoor area.
The entrance hall building in the lower left corner, which is connected to the multi-functional hall by a skyway, also houses the auditorium, the cafeteria, and a bar. The cafeteria and the bar are almost but not entirely separated by a patio. The cafeteria and its outdoor seating area feature a splendid view on the plaza.
The entire rooftop garden of the complex is accessible for visitors and features seating areas and unparalleled views of its surroundings, including the church of Lissewege. A big window integrated into the flat roof above the multi-functional hall allows visitors to enjoy a game or concert from outside. Wheelchair users can move throughout the entire complex and its roof, using the slopes and elevators.