The Flemish Government Architect has launched its biannual ‘open call’ for teams to complete a range of major public schemes
Open to architects, urban planners and landscape architects – this summer’s international competition features seven schemes including a 400-unit social housing scheme in Ostend, a town centre masterplan for Moerbeke, and the regeneration of a historic church in Hasselt.
Other projects up for grabs include a new £7.4 million headquarters for sewage treatment firm Aquafin, a masterplan for historic Affligem abbey, and a new 20-unit care home in suburban Rietmusstraat.
According to the contest announcement: ‘The open call is a unique and innovative way of selecting and negotiating. The drafting of a project definition, which is then not cast by one but by different design teams in a sketch design, and the subsequent discussion help the public client to make a weighted choice for the designer who desires his preference.
‘The open call calls for a visionary building culture, in which building is a fully-fledged social instrument, not an end in itself or simply a way to quickly meet needs. In concrete terms, the open call generates a significant added value on a number of crucial points.’
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern region of Belgium which has had its own government architect since 1999. The first person to hold the prestigious office was Bob Van Reeth and the current incumbent is the architect and civil engineer Leo Van Broeck.
The programme has so far promoted more than 600 projects, was first launched in 1999 and its official language is Dutch. Between three and seven architects will be shortlisted for each Open Call 34 project.
UK architects who have previously won projects from the open call include Maccreanor Lavington, Sergison Bates, Tony Fretton, Stephen Taylor, Ian Simpson, Witherford Watson Mann and DRDH.
London’s 6a architects and Sergison Bates are currently competing for a new £10.6 million maritime museum in north Antwerp which was tendered through the programme.
The scheme will convert an existing workshop complex (pictured) which includes a listed 1895 pump-house and deliver additional new build spaces. Nearby landmarks include the Antwerp Port House by Zaha Hadid Architects.
Any public sector client in Flanders may use the system to procure its architects. Applicants must register online and may apply for one or more projects.
The deadline for applications is 11pm local time on 20 August.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information
View the contract notice for more information