In summer 2017 the ZuidBoulevard was officially opened with a large public festival. The boulevard is a unique promenade offering visitors and residents a mix of functions. Along it you will find the new city library, three apartment buildings and various shops. ZuidBoulevard is also the new access route to the centre of Waregem and the Het Pand shopping centre. Previously, the site consisted of a large and unprepossessing old people's home with lots of above ground parking. Today it is an attractive new public area for young and old.
The boulevard is bordered at ground level by the new city library, a number of shops and catering establishments. Above these are three apartment buildings with a total of 58 residential units. The boulevard runs at a gradient of 4% up to Het Pand. In this way, visitors arrive seamlessly, with no extra stairs to climb, at the city's shopping centre (where the City Hall and the OC De Schakel are also located).
A large city car park below the boulevard has made possible the dream of a car-free public area.
The car-free promenade with the Graphite clay pavers
from the DecimA range is an impressive project, 45 metres wide and 135 metres long.
Along it visitors are spoiled with fountains and greenery, with lawns and trees appearing from the stairwells in the middle of the promenade.
The choice of clay pavers was not made lightly by the project developer and the city council. "In one day I drove around the entire country with the mayor to look at clay pavers and decide which ones were suitable. Taking so much time for something like this ensures that the picture is perfect. As a developer you know how certain ideas look in real life.
But as a layman it's not always so easy. We needed many meetings to show the city authorities that our ideas were not as strange as they seemed at first glance", Stefanie Vanden Broucke (general manager at Vanhaerents Development) tells us with a smile.
In the end, the DecimA Graphite clay pavers were chosen, with their half-matt, half-glossy texture. Given the texture and because the clay pavers are laid in different patterns, the light reflects in different ways, which in turn creates a playful touch. For example, the clay pavers on the slope follow a stretcher bond pattern while on the upper flat part they are laid in a herringbone pattern.
The different angles of incident light also set off the dynamics of the sloping promenade
As part of the 'Waregem Zuid' master plan currently being implemented, ZuidBoulevard is viewed as a huge bonus for the city.
There are also plans to use the clay pavers elsewhere in the master plan, to give a sense of unity and create clearly marked lanes for soft road users.