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'Hof ter Dampoort',
Dendermondsesteenweg 50,
B-9000 Ghent

t: +32 9 225 54 88

90, boulevard de Waterloo
B-1000 Brussels

t: +32 2 512 70 11
f: +32 2 512 31 90

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Ename 974 provincial heritage centre, Oudenaarde

The heritage centre is conceived as a workplace where the public can experience first-hand the entire archaeological process 

photo by Anja Van Eetveldt, Sum © 2007

The unique archaeological site of the former Ename Abbey in Oudenaarde enjoys international recognition. A request was made to build a new heritage centre on this site. The design assignment comprised three parts: disclosure, research and attraction. The heritage centre is conceived as a workplace where the public can experience first-hand the entire archaeological process - from excavating, filtering, washing, numbering, restoring and cataloguing to the research and final result of the research.


During the drafting process the vision grew that these various components should rest closely on each other. The metaphor of the barn was suggested as the most suitable interpretation of the design assignment: a simple shell in which different activities can be organised flexibly. The compact form of this concept not only brings the different programme components to an exciting interaction.. Thanks to the synergy and the shared use, the construction and operating costs are greatly reduced. Thus an energy-efficient and sustainable building is created.


The heritage centre is a simple building, constructed from a large hall, with a ground floor, a mezzanine, roof level and a basement that gets daylight because of the raised ground floor. The architecture is contemporary yet frugal and sensible so as not to disturb the readability of the archaeological site. The building is built around a concrete core, in which the various facilities and the circulation rooms are taken up. The core sustains a zinc roof that delimits large, open spaces. The materials are simple and robust: concrete, wood, glass and zinc.



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Ename-Center/ Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen



in collaboration with

SWK (techniques)

project leader

Patrick Moyersoen


study               2002-2004
construction  2005-2009
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