Glass dome Matuvu

Quirky glass dome steals the show in Knokke-Heist

From the Pantheon over the Taj Mahal to the Capitol. The dome is an architectural masterpiece that stands the test of time and attracts attention time and again. It is the same here in Knokke-Heist. A transparent glass dome steals the show on the renovated Albert Square and re-establishes this place as the beating heart of the Belgian coastal town.

In the 1950s, the Albert Square was a well-known meeting place for celebrities. Charles Aznavour, Edith Piaf, Frank Sinatra, Jacques Brel and Josephine Baker enjoyed their aperitifs here. In recent years, the square has lost much of its charisma. Restaurants and cafés disappeared and so did the beau monde.

The municipality of Knokke-Heist knew it was time for a change and started the re development of the Albert Square with the ambition of turning the town’s beating heart back into the ‘Place m’as-tu vu’ it once was. Dr engineer Philippe Samyn and Partners, Goethals Promotor, PSR and Jan De Nul Group joined forces to complete the urban renewal project Matuvu, with an impressive result.

The renewed Albert Square: functional creativity

The neighbourhood has long been struggling with an acute shortage of parking spaces. We therefore made optimal use of the underground space by building a private car park with 150 parking spaces for local residents, second home owners and residents of adjacent streets.

Above-ground, the Albert Square is an ode to light that invites to see and be seen – with the prestigious glass hospitality pavilion and a water feature at its centre. The square itself is a giant checkerboard, with alternating white and black tiles. All around the square, there will be space for benches where one can enjoy the human and architectural spectacle.

The redevelopment of the Albert Square not only relates to what is visible. Public utilities, such as sewers and pipelines, have also been completely renewed.

"The construction of this dome is reminiscent of the classic Meccano toy, at top level that is. The shape is simple, but the structure is complex. Each element of the dome is unique and fits perfectly into the puzzle. The finished whole will not betray the engineering marvels hidden inside."  

Julie De Pauw

Development Manager at PSR

Glass dome Matuvu