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Public spaces are an important element in the overall image of a city, town or rural landscape. They fulfil various functions, such as a meeting place, recreational area or car park, and contribute to the positive image of the area. Public spaces serve as a hub between various functions and often contain a network of (slow) roads.
In every design, Macobo takes into account the spatial and urban context in order to achieve a qualitative public space that enhances the adjacent functions and their image value. We aim to produce a clearly defined, safe and sustainable design based on simple design solutions and an informed choice of materials and vegetation.
We are not afraid to factor in future developments and possible evolutions within an area (determined by policy, environmental considerations or the market). Such a layout leads to flexible and forward-looking solutions.
In its design of public spaces, Macobo uses digital 3D modelling which allows us to incorporate in the process all the various spatial development projects in the same area. The design software Civil 3D and InfraWorks is used for that purpose. In fact, once calculated, we create a 3D virtual model of the space designed before we actually build it. This enables us to shorten the construction period and avoid execution errors, which, in turn, leads to higher construction quality and better prices.
For optimal cooperation with public authorities, we also employ the recognised 3P software for public works.
Macobo was entrusted by the City of Genk to produce a development outline for the so-called core of Bret, which constituted the basis for our technical design. The actual development has been conceived as a second public centre cluster within Bret which is part of the city centre area in terms of both its scenic and functional features. The premise for the design is the creation of a multipurpose meeting place for local residents which is also closely linked to the surrounding public functions, namely the volleyball club and De Richter and Bret schools. A car park with a capacity of 70 vehicles has been planned along the full length of the site’s northern road frontage. Play, meeting and green areas have been laid out in the southern section. In addition, the design accommodates three outdoor beach volleyball courts which can be used by the volleyball club and local residents.Read more
Neerhof is a farm on the outskirts of Brussels dating from 1217 which has been converted into a petting zoo. The management plan is one of the first plans drawn up in accordance with the architectural heritage decree since it came into force on January 1st, 2015. In the context of the management plan and in addition to the main objectives associated with heritage property, Macobo, as a consultancy firm, was given the challenge to turn Neerhof into a sustainable and educational project focusing on cyclic processes. The principles of permaculture and cradle to cradle are the basis for the development of these secondary objectives in the management plan.Read more
The contract awarded by the Municipality of Putte involved giving the town square a sustainable role. The town hall, a school and a building accommodating the youth organisation are all situated nearby. Parking spaces and access had to be planned for these functions. The town square also had to be able to fulfil its function as a plaza for events and festivities. The town square is used by cyclists/pedestrians and cars as a shortcut to the Waverlei area. Because of this, a solution was offered that would ensure the safety of every road user.Read more
Macobo was contracted by Aquafin to examine the feasibility of disconnecting the existing sewage discharges and building a carrier drain. The City of Tongeren used this intervention to rehabilitate the existing village centres by renewing and beautifying the road infrastructure within the built-up area and by constructing paved footpaths and cycle tracks along the way. This project involved the complete refurbishment of the Neremsplein and dead ends branching out from it. The design aimed to restore and strengthen the square’s function, including a stop-and-rest area along the cycleway.Read more
The City of Westerlo contracted Macobo to redevelop the area surrounding the sports facilities, following their expansion with the addition of a municipal swimming pool complex. A multipurpose square was constructed, also allowing vehicles to park there. Concrete planters with integrated seating and light strips guide visitors to the various functions. Multi-stemmed trees and tree spotlights conduce to the high visual quality of the environment. A space was created at the rear which connects with the patio of the cafeteria, affording a good view of the adjacent sports fields. A lawn for sunbathing was laid out as a transition to the adjacent wooded landscape, emphasizing the natural features as a result.Read more
The Municipality of Laakdal strives to increase the accessibility and uniformity of its four cemeteries. They should convey a more sensitive image and be given a contemporary look in line with today’s needs and standards. Recognising that cemeteries are a sensitive issue within a community, Macobo and the Municipality of Laakdal opted for an approach which closely involves the local population.Read more
Macobo redesigned the Otterbeek district for VMSW (the Flemish Society for Social Housing). In addition to the design, we monitored the entire landscaping works: squares, car parks, green areas, sports fields, playgrounds and streets. It is a clearly defined district which comprises four different entities, each with its own structure. Our design took into account the fact that each entity has its own housing types.Read more
The square had to become an active public space with an urban character. The geographic relief was restored and steps were developed in the natural slope to create an amphitheatre-like space. The amphitheatre was illuminated, using discreet LED lighting in each step and the necessary landscaping ensured the desired picture quality. The existing pavement around the amphitheatre was removed and replaced by natural paving, laid out in a diamond pattern.Read more
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