Roelevard - mixed use in Roeselaere

Tim Harrup

Roelevard, a new mixed use development in the Flemish town of Roeselare is the first project in Belgium to be designed by Scandinvian architects Snøhetta (in conjunction with local architectural firm B2Ai). The portfolio of Scandinvian architects Snøhetta includes the Opera House in Oslo, the renovated Times Square in New York and the Memorial Museum at Ground Zero. B2Ai for its part, is described as an architectural firm strong in devising and rethinking large-scale, complex projects, such as the new knowledge center ARhus in Roeselare and the living, working and retail project The One in Brussels. Developers ION ,in partnership with Steenoven, describe the project as reflecting the Scandinavian roots of the architects, along with their vision of contemporary living and working. Extra attention, they go on to say, is paid to cosiness, sustainability, timeless design and quality.

Roelevard is located on the foundations of the former commuter car park and Stationsplein, a focal point in the urban fabric of Roeselare and a connection point between city districts. This valuable location, states ION, formed the starting point for the architects for the location of the two buildings and for the design of the site. In this way they are creating a link with the creative Trax site on the other side of the railway lines and Roelevard itself is conceived as one large public space with a distinct identity. Train and bus are within walking distance, bicycle and pedestrian connections and parking are nearby. The goal is said to be to provide added value to the city and its residents, connecting neighborhoods, people and various urban functions such as living, working and shopping. The project also benefits from the central location of Roeselare in West Flanders, at the heart of a region with stable businesses, good accessibility and connections with other hubs within the province.

In terms of its designation, the 17,500 m² of Roelevard are made up of 81 apartments, 144 parking spaces, 6,000 m² of office space, 650 m² of retailing space, 82 store rooms and 288 bicycle parking spaces. Works on this 44 million Euro investment started in 2020.