Normaalschool site redevelopment Lier

Urban redevelopment project with 10 houses, an 12-unit cohousing project, 130 apartments, a business incubator centre and 500 m2 of commercial premises



Competition first place





architect partner
Callebaut Architecten
architect partner renovation
OKRA Landschapsarchitecten
landscape architect
structural engineering
Boydens Engineering, part of Sweco
MEP and energy engineering
Bureau De Fonseca
acoustical engineering
Atelier voor Ruimtelijk Advies
landscape engineering
project development
Artes Projects
project development
Artes Roegiers
general contracting
Artes Woudenberg
renovation contracting
Het Bolwerk
consultant incubator
Cohousing Projects
consultant cohousing

The Normaalschool site in Lier spans a built-up area of more than 20,000 m2. Its redevelopment is designed to foster urban living through the construction of about 140 housing units in the inner area. The transformation of the site into a publicly accessible space provides an excellent opportunity to inject new life into densely built up centre, thereby turning it into a port of call for the immediate neighbourhood and the entire Lier region.

The early 20th-century school buildings lend a clear structure to the site. The design team – META, BOB361, Callebaut architects and OKRA – opted to retain these historically valuable buildings and only demolish substandard structures to make room for new volumes.

The new volumes will fit perfectly within the existing fabric and create similarly-scaled public, collective and private open spaces. Each open space is distinguished by its specific character. The linking of these creates logical circulation axes throughout the site.

The programme consists of a public section with a catering business and a start-up incubator, 3 convenience stores and an office building. The incubator will become a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and creative people in Lier.

Apart from the above, the site is exclusively residential. Every type of accommodation is foreseen: characterful homes that have been crafted out of the existing school patrimony, functionally designed new apartments for young starters and families, a co-housing project of about 10 units in the former monastery of De Kluis, 8 ground-level townhouses with private gardens, homes with a practice, multigenerational homes, serviced apartments and shell properties.

The inner area of the Normaalschool site spans the block formed by Berlaarsestraat, Sint-Gummarusstraat, De Heyderstraat and Kluizestraat.