The province of Limburg (BE) is a fragmented region, characterized by a collection of nature reserves, industrial remnants and automotive infrastructures. However, this disconnected landscape is changing: as part of a recent, transit-oriented, masterplan, soon the Spartacus-2 or HOVHM trambus will connect Hasselt to Maasmechelen—linking city centers, suburban housings, office buildings and wilderness zones by public transport.

Eleven shelters will define the future stops and identity of the line. In response to this brief, the project explores the extent to which transit architecture can define public structures.

Thinking of shelters as recognizable landmarks in the landscape, these structures not only provide a comfortable waiting environment, but also accommodate various site-specific functions. For this purpose, rather than proposing a repetition of a singular formal solution applied en-mass, the project develops a design methodology that is both systematic and responsive to various local conditions and programmatic needs.

Robust, low-tech and spacious, each of these architectures is made up of three superimposed elements: a floor, a post and a canopy. At the base, brick paving defines the edge of the platform, which thickens according to the topography, becoming a seating area, a piece of furniture. A grid of staggered wooden posts rhythmize the space, supporting a canopy of gently curved woven planks above. Together, these three elements create welcoming spaces that, through simple adaptations, uniquely engage with their surroundings while retaining a common and recognizable identity.

  • Location

    Limburg, Belgium

  • Client

    De Werkvennootschap (DWV)

  • Programme

    Public transportation shelters

  • Completion

    2022 - ongoing

  • In collaboration with

    Tractebel, Arcadis, Common Ground

  • 51N4E project team

    Janik Beckers, Pu Hsien Chan, Hunter Doyle, Matteo Frangi, Freek Persyn, Sacha Trouiller, Kristal Virgilio

  • 51N4E involvement

    Full Process

  • Structural engineer

    Tractebel + BAS/Dirk Jaspaert

  • Technical engineer


  • Lightning


  • Built surface

    8.600 m²

  • Construction cost

    11.000.000 € (excl. VAT)

  • Photography

    Dieter van Caneghem

  • Image credits