Bargiekaai KU Leuven by Christensen & Co and NEXT architects


Anchored in the landscape, the Bargiekaai project, which consists of two volumes, is the first major construction project within the new masterplan for the Technology Campus of KU Leuven in Ghent.

The flexible educational environment of the Bargiekaai is characterized by low thresholds, thus access is guaranteed for everyone and everyone’s wishes for concentration and meeting are facilitated. The educational building has no dead corners and closed plinths.

The learning center is located on the ground floor, which also makes it a meeting place for the neighborhood and offers space for meetings and events outside regular opening hours. The large public staircase gives access to the roof floor and thus creates an urban balcony and a lobby for the auditoriums.

Design for interaction is central. The urban accessible staircase opens up ‘green pockets’ in the building, places that provide an opportunity for informal contact and meeting.

Thanks to the logical layout and direct connection to the green landscape, the students are in close contact with the green environment of the Campus located on the river Scheldt. In the second building volume, students will find pleasant accommodation with plenty of daylight.

By focusing not only on the formal spaces, but also in all informal places, we create an environment where people come into contact with each other, react to each other and thus tap into new energy. Source by Christensen & Co and NEXT architects.

  • Location: Ghent, Belgium
  • Architect: Christensen & Co, NEXT architects
  • Design Team: Bart Reuser, Marijn Schenk, Michel Schreinemachers with Ieva Mileika, Joost Lemmens, Liesbeth Sträter (NEXT architects) Michael Christensen, Francisco Villeda Arreola, Sophie Daugaard Andersen, Laura Vargas (Christensen & C0)
  • Collaboration: ABT België, Mijn EBP, Atelier Romain, en FOREST – Bureau voor Landschapsarchitectuur
  • Client: KU Leuven
  • Size: 15.400 m2 12.400 m2 – Education building, 3.000 m2 – Student dwellings
  • Year: 2021
  • Images: Beauty & the Bit, Courtesy of NEXT

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