a2o Hasselt

Vissersstraat 2

B-3500 Hasselt


a2o Brussel

Timmerhoutkaai 4

B–1000 Brussel


T. 0032 11 26 03 30

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Alden Biesen Masterplan

study for the redevelopment of a historic site into a touristic heritage centrality

Alden Biesen, Belgium
2002-2012, Masterplan, design and execution
Flemish Government 
2850 m2 

The Landcommandery Alden Biesen presents itself as a ‘historic and cultural centre’ with a ‘seminar and conference centre’, a (cultural) tourist attraction and a meeting point for international networking. This translates into a location with an easily accessible, varied and complex (building) programme and a permanent and sometimes paradoxical interaction between the past and the present.

Commissioned by the Flemish Community, a2o was selected after an appeal to draw up a master plan for the development of the Alden Biesen location. This master plan includes “drafting a vision for an overall approach to which both present and future interventions in Alden Biesen can be related, in order to be able to add a meaningful layer to this historic site”. (Quoted from the brief.)

Our objective was to add coherence and interpretability within a multifunctional and accessible Alden Biesen. The plan was based on a number of general principles of unlocking the heritage, translating these into concrete terms for this monument, this historic site and this exceptional landscape.

The plan assumes that a heritage visit is first and foremost an experience. Visitors must be given the opportunity of visual and tactile – in short, sensory – contact with the monument. The experience of the sense of place, the character of the location, the aura of the poetry of the monument take a central position.


See also

Alden Biesen New logistic room for the international culture and conference centre

Alden Biesen Masterplan Alden Biesen Masterplan
Alden Biesen Masterplan Alden Biesen Masterplan Alden Biesen Masterplan