St. Cornelius Church

Repurposing symbolic heritage to host a society in transition

Churches have always been prominent community centres in our cities and villages. Today, they still represent key centralities in the life of religious communities, but they also offer the opportunity to accommodate the needs of a changing society. In the Church of St Cornelius in Kortrijk, new value is given to this symbolic place as part of a new public area in Aalbeke (Kortrijk). The project was commissioned by the city of Kortrijk after a participatory process involving the Church Council, the Church Office, the public centre for social welfare, associations, city services and residents. The master plan, designed by Urbain, foresees the redevelopment of the church, in connection with the multipurpose meeting centre of the building housing the public centre for social welfare. The design combines a smaller liturgical space for eighty people with a music school and library, allowing the space to acquire new value for all generations. What was once the setting for baptisms, weddings and funerals takes on a new meaning in the community and will be associated with new memories. St Cornelius once more becomes the face of Aalbeke, not only in a religious context but as the mascot of the village.

partners and actors
Urbain architectencollectief, Sileghem & Partners, Tech3, De Fonseca, Feys BV, City of Kortrijk
innovative aspects