The municipality's decision to relocate the 'De Meermin' Leisure Centre to Abdij van Roosenberglaan, in the heart of Waasmunster, is a resolute choice for a consolidated village centre. The project brings about a remarkable synergy between the small-scale richness of village life and the new multifunctional programme.
At the centre of the plan, POLO realised an open-air garden named 'Vrijetijdsplein', surrounded by a covered colonnade. All around the colonnade, the various main programmatic elements unfold themselves: sports, theatre, the library (with administrative functions), a multi-purpose hall and a bar. The grand colonnade forms an articulated buffer between the various programmatic elements and the central courtyard. The square presents itself as an open-air room with a water feature, trees and playful seating elements. The vibrant, green collective space forms the proud heart of the complex.
Unity in diversity
The interior design completes and reinforces the overall concept. POLO interior design opts for a consistent use of materials and a transparent formal language in order to create a sense of cohesion and continuity. It is a conscious decision to blur the boundaries between the inside and outside, and between the different functions. The well-considered lighting design (both inside and outside) and the arrangement of the surrounding park and the leisure square share the same objective.
The building's outer facades are characterised by the use of honest and robust materials: concrete, wood and glass. The interior design builds on this logic, adding subtle colour accents and a dose of material tactility. Materials selected for the interior include polished concrete and concrete slabs (floors), wood (both for floors and walls), black wire mesh (finishing), and textile (carpets, curtains, wall covering) in a variety of warm shades.
A well-considered lighting concept ensures cosy, yet functional lighting after sunset, both inside and outside the building. Artificial light naturally guides visitors towards the entrance areas and the cafeteria. Even at night, visitors can fully enjoy the outdoor areas thanks to the lit trees and water feature. By adjusting the light's colour temperature and intensity, disctinctions and subtle gradings are introduced between functional lighting and mood lights, active and peaceful areas, lingering and circulation.
The outdoor space design should not go unnoticed. The surrounding greenery is drawn into the central square. The concrete slabs, concrete bricks and grass pavers create an intriguing tableau - a visual feast in itself: a perfect balance of form, functionality and water penetration. 'Vrijetijdsplein' acts as a fully functional outdoor room to be used as much as possible. Storytime events can take place in a small amphitheatre, while the gallery protects the bar's outdoor terrace from the blazing summer sun and the lashing rain.