Introducing the winning design team for revamped and enlarged S.M.A.K.

Nieuw S M A K 2

The temporary association noAarchitects, David Kohn Architects with Asli Çiçek may design the expansion and renovation of the S.M.A.K.. This first design proposal includes a second museum building, for the permanent collection. The entrance to both museum buildings will be in the Floralia Hall, which will have a central role in Citadel Park.

Through an Open Call by the Flemish Master Builder, the S.M.A.K. and urban development company sogent started looking for a design team for the renewal and expansion of the museum in the summer of 2023. In the autumn, from 53 submissions, five teams were selected to submit a design proposal. The jury's choice fell on the temporary association of noAarchitects, David Kohn Architects with Asli Çiçek.

Additional museum building

The winning design proposal best answers the demand for two museum buildings that are 'guests in the park': the S.M.A.K. hall, which houses the current museum, and the Collections House, on the site of the former 'casino head' that is not currently in use. In that new Collection House, the permanent collection, now of necessity in the depot, can be displayed. It can accommodate 500 pieces. Both buildings overlook both the Floralia Hall in between and Citadel Park all around. Large windows and balconies create an open feeling. The buildings remain sufficiently low and integrate nicely into the park.

New entrance

In the design proposal, the experience of Citadel Park is paramount. The museum buildings are like pavilions in the greenery. The design team's choice to move the museum entrance to the Floralia Hall was greatly appreciated by the jury. This helps ensure that the Floralia Hall, as in 1913, will again play a central role in the park, between and in line with both buildings. Both museum buildings open onto the hall with inviting staircases and terraces.

"It is important that the homework is done so that the next board can start working on these plans right away. Keeping the S.M.A.K. as it is today is not an option. The building is an energy guzzler and the collection cannot be displayed in optimal conditions. Through this plan, the 'casino head' and the historic Floralia Hall may get a new function after many years of vacancy."
- Sami Souguir, alderman for Urban Development and chairman sogent
"Door het museum meer in te bedden in het park, wordt S.M.A.K. een plek waar je als bezoeker wordt betrokken bij de dialoog tussen permanente collectie en het heden. Het is namelijk de taak van het museum om mee de toekomst te verbeelden, om het debat en het gesprek mogelijk te maken, om met elkaar van standpunt te verschillen over de rol en de betekenis van een museum in een stedelijk weefsel."
- Philippe Van Cauteren, artistic director S.M.A.K.

Reuse of materials

The jury appreciated the winning design team's principle of 'circular building'. The team wants to commit to working with the existing buildings and materials as much as possible. The structure of the buildings will be retained, but they will be insulated and re-clad. All materials from demolition, including those of the Red Gate, will be reused for the new S.M.A.K. Thanks to this choice, the new buildings will blend easily into the park. Sustainable materials will be chosen for the new volumes in the Floralies Hall and for the timber frame on the current museum.

No final design yet

The design team, together with S.M.A.K. and sogent, will spend the next few months refining the competition design and incorporation in Citadel Park before a final design is produced. During the weekend of 22 and 23 June, local residents and Gentenaars can also give input. Everyone is welcome between 2pm and 5pm at Citadelpark. Those who wish can also register for a workshop on Sunday 23 June from 2 to 4.30 pm.

The evaluation report
Become a Friend of S.M.A.K.
made by