Province East Flanders chooses Democo Group

The province East Flanders has advanced plans for a new provincial house. For its design and construction, the provincial government will work together with the consortium THV Leopold, a collaboration between DMI Real Estate, Democo and Matexi. Starting in 2021, the new provincial house will be located within the Leopold Barracks near Ghent’s Citadel park.

After a competition period of more than two years, East Flanders awarded the project to the consortium in January. “We are delighted with the deputation’s choice”, said Philip Demot and Pieter Vanhout. “It’s the result of two years of study and hard research to find the best possible use of the Leopold Barracks. The design process took place in close dialogue with the Province and the city services, and with the greatest respect for this unique heritage of Ghent. In our story, the Leopold Barracks will no longer be a closed off, massive building. While maintaining its identity, the Barracks will be transformed into a vivid city neighbourhood, centred around living, working and meeting. Besides the provincial house, we will also integrate the art school HISK, offices for the Ministry of Defence, a hotel, a day care and different living units. These functions unfold around the square Paradeplein, which we will redesign into a green neighbourhood park.”

Strong team

For the design, THV Leopold worked with Sergison Bates (London), 360architecten, B2Ai, heritage specialist Maarten Dobbelare and Delva Landscape Architects. The team also included Ingenium, 3E and Procos and called on the advice of various other experts.

Sustainability on a neighbourhood level

Sustainability, flexibility and a clear focus on the future were all central in the designing process. The concept goes a lot further than the imposed sustainability requirements for the different buildings. THV Leopold’s vision looks at sustainability on a local level: the neighbourhood level. This results in clever measures with regard to integrated water management, energy, mobility, waste management, the level of green … but is also reflected in the clear vision on heritage and the extensive participation with the provincial authorities.