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Lock complex in the Leie at Harelbeke, Harelbeke, Belgium

Wednesday 06 Mar 2013

Locks in the Leie

Lock complex in the Leie at Harelbeke by Zwarts & Jansma Architects in Harelbeke, Belgium
Image courtesy of Zwarts & Jansma Architects 
Lock complex in the Leie at Harelbeke by Zwarts & Jansma Architects in Harelbeke, Belgium
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Zwarts & Jansma Architects to design locks in the Leie at Harelbeke (Flanders) 

The consortium Leie | land are to build the lock complex in the Leie at Harelbeke. The project, which is being commissioned by "Waterwegen & Zeekanaal NV", will be designed by Zwarts & Jansma Architects with Bureau Bas Smets responsible for the urban master plan and landscape development. The project for the new Harelbeke lock complex is part of the transnational project Seine- Schelde.

This project connects the basin of the Seine with the Schelde by means of a competitive route for shipping. For the Leie, the change to the tonnage of the shipping way creates the necessity to deepen the shipping lane and broaden a number of bends with the addition of providing lanes for passing. Following the deepening of the Leie, the existing lock complex at Harelbeke will have to be rebuilt.

Besides the construction of the new lock, two new bridges will be incorporated into the site.  The plan also covers is the design of the Moleneiland, the opening of a tourist marina and the reconstruction of quays along the river Leie. With all this, the project provides the opportunity to thoroughly rethink and redesign the way the city is linked to its river.

The Seine-Schelde project also provides the Leie with a program for 'river restoration', consisting of ecological, landscape and recreational measures. All these interventions make this project a great opportunity to improve the spatial quality of Harelbeke as a whole. The Moleneiland is characterised by two mills. The preservation of these structures, together with the advent of the marina and a fish trap, allow a specific identity for the Moleneiland to be designed while ensuring a gradual urban development of the island.

Zwarts & Jansma Architects provide the integration and architectural design of five so-called artworks. The ensemble of works at Harelbeke - bridges and locks - has been designed from the utilitarian principle of bridging and maintaining the (height differences in) waterways. The architects have given careful consideration into integrating them into the urban fabric and also to the user comfort.

The design for the lock complex will consist of a lock for shipping, a new weir, pumping station with mortars, machine areas and a possible temporary control building. The Banmolensbrug forms the entrance to the Moleneiland and crosses the Old Leiearm, which will be restored to full glory. Finally, a vision has been created for a possible future integration of two movable bridges as a recreational pedestrian and bicycle connection between the right bank of the Leie, via the Moleneiland, to the left bank.

Key Facts

Status Planning
Value 0(m€)
Zwarts & Jansma Architects

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