After a well-organized brainstorm, the expressed needs of the population of Oostnieuwkerke, as diverse as they are, pointed to one general need or desire, viz. making the village center of Oostnieuwkerke more attractive, quiet and safe. Through such vision and final approach, all the needs put forward will be met. The final design shows that through a drastic, green and stylish approach, Oostnieuwkerke has a lot going for it. Oostnieuwkerke deserves a “grandeur” that offers residents the “atmosphere” of yesteryear and the “hope” for the future.
As so many English examples demonstrate, a green “heart” for a village center is essential for optimal quality of life! Churches there are in a park, an austere park consisting of grass, trees, hedges and wrought iron. The “center park,” always located around the church, spills over, as it were, into the private front gardens and landscape. Tradition and respect for public space reign supreme there! This was also the target for Oostnieuwkerke.
This fantastic project should become an example for all of Flanders. The village core was given back to man. A long, busy asphalt road was literally broken out. Brigida Park, the parsonage garden and the area around the church form a whole, creating one big green heart. The church there was incorporated into a green oasis of peace and quiet recreation. And what about king car? Cars can find their way perfectly behind the church, and even get a few extra parking spaces. Everyone happy! Serving everyone on pure beauty!
Dear Andy, what strikes me in Oostnieuwkerke and your other works is a sleek austerity with an almost mystical aura. Such places, to my senses, deserve both the epithet “blissful” and “holy.” I hope from the bottom of my heart that you can continue on this path “slowly but steadily” and that agencies can be found that are open to what you want to realize and are willing to work with you to do “groundbreaking” work from time to time.
Dear Andy, I have the greatest admiration for your beautiful designs and executions and also respect the profound background. Andy, as a master of your craft, you are leaving a lasting mark on our landscape.
Bernard De Cuyper
Andy, Oostnieuwkerke is perfect. Nothing may be added, nothing may be taken away!
Andy, the new village center of Oostnieuwkerke is a garden that reminds me of a convent garden, complete with circular breviary corridors where nuns or fathers could recite their prayers while walking.
Hein van Iersel
Andy, with great pleasure I looked at the renovated village center and it has become truly breathtakingly beautiful.
I am deeply impressed with your vision, your insights and your ability!
We went to Oostnieuwkerke and found the construction of the church square with connecting garden very successful. There were also plenty of people enjoying the circular waterbed. The artworks were very pleasing – they fit the spirit of the roject perfectly. I must congratulate you on this and your other various projects. All diverse but always with a well-founded philosophy in mind and we like that very much.
As during Andy’s tour his speech began, it was pretty clear. Professionalism, skill and drive were at play here. What began as a request for the installation of a work of art ended, through their efforts, in the complete reconstruction of the village core including the removal of a shortcut. Handsome sample.
Dear Andy, congratulations on your beautiful realization in Oostnieuwkerke, I will definitely go and have a look on site. Wonderful how that neighborhood has changed so drastically. That takes courage and guts! It might be an idea to do a thorough job on the area around our church in Wervik, the bridge and the pardon. It would put Wervik on the map once again!
Hi Andy, I went through your draft of Oostnieuwkerke. Fantastic that people are choosing quality open space. And of course I know that you can vouch for that. I enjoy learning about your work this way!
Andy, here we would like to congratulate you on your realization in Oostnieuwkerke, we have watched and discussed your project here with great interest. Congratulations because of Geert and Christiane and our team!
Hello Andy, congratulations on your articles and for your recognition of this effectively beautiful design in Oostnieuwkerke. I hope you may and can realize a few more “groundbreaking” projects like this in the future!
Particularly successful !
Dear Andy, congratulations on your new successful project in Oostnieuwkerke. Beauty does indeed live!!! You hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees or is familiar with this out of habit. Recognizing beauty has nothing to do with a high level of education. It has everything to do with daring to look inwardly and outwardly and finally actually seeing. Sometimes that takes a lot of courage, and not everyone has the balls to question themselves. Keep up the good work!
Andy, we are super proud of you! Keep up the good work! Seems super relaxing to sit by the waterfront!
Andy, it gives me incredible pleasure that intense and pure beauty can be created by our human hands. Once again, a timeless creation of pure delight! Thank you!!!
Touchingly beautiful, Andy.
Dear Andy, congratulations on your prize, a nice victory over concrete and other Flemish nonsense. I think it’s really cool that you can accomplish something like this, congratulations!
Dear former student, dear Andy, congratulations on your project in Oostnieuwkerke! Also, I have a great admiration for the many qualitative and artistic initiatives that build a dam against a balkanized environment for human beings.
Rik The Fish
Andy, actually it is exactly as if the village center of Oostnieuwkerke has always looked like this …
The village center of Oostnieuwkerke was not designed to be viewed statically from a single point. Likewise with your other realizations. The design of the village center possesses a dynamism that was shaped by you. The tracts you have determined will be filled in, poetically or otherwise, by the residents. Here I think of your description of the communicants gathering at the water feature and ascending in a procession through the park section to the church gate. But the design suggests more than random movement. If you can choose, the movement proceeds circularly, starting in the center, then along the edges -and thus not axially through the center- , in order to find a resting point again for a moment in the focal point. One step further and the shaky balance is broken again. The park of Oostnieuwkerke provides a dynamic experience of the trajectory from the edge to the center and exhibits a grateful affirmation of life …
It’s serious! It sure is!
No April fish and no bullshit!
It will be a “big leap” … forward.
A “brainstorm” roared through the village.
From church to Zonneheem, from Bank to Isabelle, no traffic, not even “sens unique.
And between church and sunheem … greens!
Like around Canterbury Cathedral, a wide avenue, on the ‘briek pilée, around soft and pure pelouse grass.
A kiosk and a fountain, with curling water thingy.
Against each tree a bench, in shady spots.
Come all there, who are exhausted, or seek silence!
And the pastor? He lives on in prettier green!
No more “grille” of doing: forwards and backwards: one flourishing vineyard, one earthly paradise.
What a leap, what a leap big leap … forward!
That will be our new center, I quickly sign on for 5 years, or buy an apartment from “Rossini,” because who wants to miss that, such a tide!
Jules Lansen, pastor of Oostnieuwkerke