The development of the ‘De Ham’ site is part of an urban renewal taking place on several fronts. The proposal has been worked out by contractor and project developer Alheembouw NV and fi ts within a public private partnership. The project will be carried out in collaboration with BURO II & ARCHI+I as designer and Prem Hotels NV as operator of the hotel facilities. The interpretation of this urban renewal project fi ts into both the architectural policy and the general social policy of the city of Oudenaarde. The site is part of the new building block that is bounded to the North by the fi lled-in Scheldebocht, which was recently set up as a linear park. From now on, the site will be the capstone of the urban core.
A quality architectural interpretation De Ham is located at the southernmost point of the Oudenaarde city centre. De Ham – over the years left quasivacant – has a remarkably strategic location and at walking distance relative to the Markt and the Town Hall, the Sint-Walburga church, the fortresses, the Beguinage and the Abbey of Maagdendale. The point of departure is the creation of a city neighbourhood on the waterside, yet forming part of the urban fabric. The housing, offi ce and hotel facilities there are being harmoniously fl eshed out.
Architecture that responds to the cultural and social reality of Oudenaarde The design is striving for maximal interweaving with the urban fabric whilst at the same time focussing on a great inherent diversity. These two lines of approach form the basic concept for the project site. The programme consists of a hotel, services or offi ce spaces on the ground fl oor with housing as the major constituent. The logical positioning on site of each of the various components of the programme is being sought; housing, for instance, will optimally be facing the water. Within the construction block, a clear choice has been made to opt for separate entities in both volumetric and architectural terms and thus to create a clearly legible distinction between the various programme components. The hotel accommodates 58 luxuriously fi nished hotel rooms, provides additional facilities for cycling tourists and looks for synergies; through cooperation with the Ronde van Vlaanderen annual cycling competition, amongst others.
There is a great diversity of types of accommodation: 3 houses with professional practices, 6 houses with panoramic view, 2 houses with patios, 9 discreet houses, 1 duplex house, 4 corridor houses, 4 linked houses, 3 houses with through-lounge and 5 loft residences. The material execution, as far as both the façades and the landscaping are concerned, makes reference to materials to be found along the Scheldt or in the streets of Oudenaarde. Links and short cuts on the site ensure a maximum connection with the urban fabric. Around the new construction project an inviting public space is being developed, which will be linked to the Scheldt.
Realistic points of departure for the City of Oudenaarde as a magnet for recreational tourism A fi nancial model was put together, based on realistic assumptions. Based on its know-how and experience, hotel partner Prem hotels offers real prospects for making a positive contribution to the development of the city of Oudenaarde as a magnet for recreational tourism and a trend-setting city within the Flemish Ardennes region. The construction works will start in the summer of 2012 and take two years. Advance sales will start in the spring of 2012.