reconversion AZ Nikolaas

Old hospital turned into an urban redevelopment project.



Design and feasibility analysis for the reconversion of a hospital campus into a strategic urban project.

Vitaz, a merger between the hospitals of AZ Lokeren and AZ Nikolaas, is leaving its campus on the Hospitaalstraat in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium) for a new location. The old ‘AZ Nikolaas’ site therefore needed reconversion. The city council considered this location as a strategic site and appointed a consortium of four design firms to define a vision for the wider area. The designers formulated different urban development visions, but these were not substantiated with a feasibility analysis. As a landowner, Vitaz therefore sought support to help determine a realistic urban development program. Our research quickly demonstrated that there was not a single viable vision on the table. That is why we worked the other way around: first calculation and then design. We calculated the reconversion costs of the site, in particular the cost of the reconstruction of the public space. Based on this financing need, we put together a real estate program that can support these investments. Through research by design, we finally shaped this financially feasible program into a high-quality urban development ensemble. This scenario was then integrated into the design of the consortium working on behalf of the city.

Partners: Stadim