Virginie Loveling Tower

Flemish administrative centre

Koningin Fabiolalaan

Surface area
winning competition design
Laureate Iconic Awards 2015
Nomination Fritz-Höger-Preis 2017
Filip Dujardin
Sarah Blee
Liesbet Goetschalckx

The Flemish Government cherished an ambition since 1999 to house its civil servants in the Flemish Administrative Centres that were to be erected in the five provincial capitals, always in the immediate vicinity of the major stations. The Virginie Loveling Tower beside the Ghent Sint-Pieters station was the last and largest administrative centre in the sequence.

The construction of the tower kicked off an ambitious urban regeneration project at a disused rail yard. The master plan dictates a new district with several towers along the railway tracks. Close to the station, offices are the preferred programme, whereas further away the plan also permits housing and more green space.

International design contest

The international design contest for the centre posed several stringent parameters. The master plan prescribes a two-section building consisting of an office tower along the railway embankment and a lower, more public arm along Koningin Fabiolalaan, which includes an exhibition hall, an auditorium, a multipurpose venue, and a childcare facility. The L-shaped floor plan delineates a plaza beneath. This transfer point is a busy public transport hub with a tangle of tram tracks, bus stops, and bicycle parking facilities. A car park for commuters is situated beneath the building.

Urban challenges

With a few gestures, the winning design responded to several complex urban challenges.

Associated themes