Along Schipperskaai at the Handelsdok, one of Ghent’s gems can be admired: the ‘Stadsgebouw’. This building, designed by Xaveer De Geyter Architects, was erected only a few years ago and houses a childcare facility, after-school care services, a local sports hall and the music-oriented primary school Melopee.

The most striking element of the design of the Stadsgebouw is the enormous pergola or covered outdoor area along the water.  It’s a highly unusual playground and features a basketball court at a higher level, among other things.  The steel skeleton will become greener over the years, as climbing and other plants are given free rein.  

The Stadsgebouw is an ambitious project, not only in terms of architecture, but also as regards sustainability and energy supply.  It’s a passive building, connected to a heating system that is also used by the adjacent Nieuwe Dokken residential project. Part of the heat demand is covered by organic waste and wastewater, the remainder by a nearby enterprise.  

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