Housing project in a former convent building, Edelareberg – Oudenaarde

3 lofts / 2 houses / Common spaces

The convent building is surrounded by extensive gardens. Bordering the Edelareberg, the site lies within walking distance from the town of Oudenaarde. An open landscape composed of wide open fields is on the border of the plot that is partially cataloged as a protected village view.
Founded by the Sisters of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Visitatie and partly meant to be a school, the oldest parts date from 1897. Later a wing is added and the property is enclosed by a brick wall. Over the years many different renovations take place.

The neo-Gothic monastery building with two floors and a gable roof, is situated in the center of the site and along the Kerklosstraat there exist a row of houses adjacent to the monastery. The whole is maintained and redeveloped into residential functions. On the other side of the cloister a new residential volume is implanted parallel to the existing building and outside the protected area. It is connected to the monastery via a floating glass construction.

The historic facades of the convent are fully preserved. There where the existing adjoining volume that now houses a garage and a boiler room and that will be completely demolished, a small extension is created which allows the implantation of terraces for the spacious new apartments in the old convent. The lightweight floating structure of glass and steel makes it possible to connect the new construction with the old one, and respect the historical value of the convent building meanwhile emphasizing its architectural qualities.

The now extinct function of the convent and its historic lost typology continue through the redevelopment of the building and the revalorization of the site as a logical result of this.

The idea of the cloister garden and courtyard surrounded by open walkways is recovered. The historical concept of closeness of the site as one of its essential characteristics is tightened, and enhanced by maintaining the existing surrounding cloister wall.

The architectural uniqueness of the cloister is visually dominant and iconic. This value is highly respected by the design of the new building by means of an optimal use of the pronounced slope of the site and the correct design and materials.
This contrast of styles strengthens the architectural qualities of both volumes,old and new.