In 2015, the Rinkkaai project won the competition for the development of a new urban area near the Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station. The winning proposal was designed by the architectural team KCAP, EVR, OMGEVING and Fris in het landschap on behalf of property developers Alides, Nacarat and Cores Development. OMGEVING was jointly responsible for the urban design, architecture and landscape design. Implementation began in 2018.
The area between Fabiolalaan, the rail bundle and the River Leie will be transformed in the coming years into a vibrant and sustainable new residential area. The design includes more than 300 homes, care functions, public and neighbourhood commercial functions and a new community park as part of the public domain. A wide variety of housing typologies will make Rinkkaai an intergenerational area with a wide range of choices for young families, couples, cohousing communities and independent and care-dependant senior citizens. The architectural concept provides an ensemble of six compact buildings, each with its own individuality within a clear common DNA. Position, shape, height and use of materials are attuned to the relationship with the immediate surroundings. Rinkkaai also has far-reaching ambitions in terms of sustainability. For example, the buildings will be completely passive and heat will be extracted from the Leie and from waste water.
The landscape design provides for a new public park zone on top of the car park. The Rinkhoutpad, an important cycle route in the direction of the station, winds through this park zone. A herbaceous strip accompanies this bicycle and walking path, marking the transition between the public and private domains. The park also provides a number of stimuli for play. Various entrance squares on Fabiolalaan increase the readability of the building entrances. Dug-out plant areas on these squares collect rainwater and create a delayed drainage.
The architectural interventions within this project were realised by OM/AR architecten performed under the name OMGEVING.