The name of the building refers to the medieval popular name for “Wijdenaard”, as the Bisdomplein square used to the called. A “aard” was the Flemish word for a mooring place where ships used to load and unload their cargo.
The building houses classrooms, offices and the Music Library: the library of the Royal Conservatory, which was founded in 1835. The library has a collection of almost 200,000 titles, including a wide range of specialist literature, from monographs to encyclopedia and magazines. The largest part of the collection, however, consists of scores, including old editions and autographs of Ghent composers like Mengal and Miry. Contemporary works are also well-represented.
Until 2009 the National Bank of Belgium had a division in this building.