Skip to main content
Mechelen Boulevard Leeft!
Logo Antea Group - No text - Angled - Transparent

Mechelen Boulevard Leeft!

Questions? Let's get in touch.

Redevelopment of the Station-Bruul-Grote Markt axis in Mechelen

The axis that extends from the station to Bruul and Grote Markt is a major artery that runs into the centre of Mechelen. ‘Mechelen Boulevard Leeft!’ focuses on transforming this axis into an attractive, qualitative and contemporary gateway to the city. The project’s first phase, i.e. the redevelopment of the section comprising Vijfhoek-Bruul-Botermarkt, was completed in 2015. The outcome is a contemporary public space, which seamlessly integrated with Mechelen’s historic character and setting.

The brief

As early as 2012, the Flemish Master Architect organised an Open Call for the redevelopment of the public space of the central artery that connects the station with Grote Markt in Mechelen. The ambition was to develop a gateway to Mechelen, as a visual calling card for the city. A major strategic project, which involved the redevelopment of a radial access road from the station to Grote Markt, including the pedestrian shopping street and five squares.

On the one hand, this project was the culmination of various redevelopment projects: a pedestrian-friendly city centre and the ‘Mechelen in Beweging’ project with a new station, station square, and a public car park under Kardinaal Mercierplein. On the other hand, the project tied in with recently completed projects or projects that had just been started up, such as Grote Markt, Dijle path, the Clarenhof residential project, the redevelopment of De Vesten and the uncovering of the Vlieten (canals in the city). The key question: How can the architecture of public space ensure that all the city’s residents and visitors feel that they are ‘in Mechelen’ here?

The solution

The main purpose of the design process was to garner support for the project: individual citizens as well as lobbying groups and even the children’s municipal council participated in the process, sharing their views on the plans. The redevelopment of Bruul is designed to maximise its function as a pedestrian shopping street. The zone for motorised vehicles has been subtly defined on the pavement, which is easy to navigate and walk on. The linear arrangement of trees and street furniture combines to create a relatively peaceful streetscape, in which emphasis is placed on the shops and valuable façades that line the street. Botermarkt plays a special role, as a meeting place for the people of Mechelen. The uncovering of the Koolvliet canal ties in with Mechelen’s vision on water in the city, increasing the network of accessible water that can be experienced. The canal runs through the square as open water, culminating into more water in the form of fountains in which children can play. De Vijfhoek has been transformed into a green oasis on the boundaries of the pedestrian-friendly city centre. The relief features a platform with tall trees, with space for terraces and art and which can be used by children to play.


Timeline slide

The construction site

Timeline slide

Awards ceremony 2018 Prize for Public Space

Timeline slide

Vision of the Open Call

Timeline slide

The end result


  • 11,000 sqm public space
  • 8 participation events
  • 1 Prize for Public Space
Redevelopment of the Station-Bruul-Grote Markt axis in Mechelen

We keep on winning prizes for urban innovation projects. As a result, a growing number of Mechelaars are proud of their city.

Bart Somers
Mayor of Mechelen

Partners and collaborations

We partnered with the Dutch architect’s firm Maxwan Architects + Urbanists BV for this project.


Met dit project ondersteunen wij de Duurzame Ontwikkelingsdoelstellingen van de Verenigde Naties:

SDG 3 - Goede gezondheid en welzijnSDG 9 - Industrie, innovatie en infrastructuurSDG 11 - Duurzame steden en gemeenschappenSDG 13 - KlimaatactieSDG 15 - Leven op het landSDG 16 - Vrede, justitie en sterke publieke dienstenSDG 17 - Partnerschappen

This website uses cookies.

Select the type of cookies you want to accept

More information