A new multifunctional library building that strengthens social cohesion in the district.



Zoersel is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The district aims at developing a new multi-purpose library building that reinforces the social cohesion of the district through the conversion of existing buildings. The library wants to become a place where the local community (residents, associations and organisations) meet – a place where they can cooperate, co-create and share knowledge, skills and experiences. The Zoersel library renovation will promote social diversity and integration by providing non-native newcomers and residents with opportunities to learn the local language and customs.


  • POPULATION: 22,317
  • AREA: 38.65 km2
  • INTERVENTIONS: The renovation affects the Sint-Antonius public library and the former police station, social housing, commercial spaces, and a contemporary library.
  • INITIATIVES & STRATEGIES: Core team members will translate their visions and ambitions into a comprehensive manifesto/brief. A market dialogue and series of masterclasses and exhibitions at the local level will be organised.


  • Eyes

    A building that will house the new Sint-Antonius public library will be renovated. A study will determine whether this will be the former police station or the building that houses the current library. The aim is to stimulate and activate the community to use the library for cultural and artistic scopes. The library contributes to social diversity and integration with the help of volunteers and organisations.

  • Hearts

    The financial feasibility will be increased through possible financial models (ESCO, energy community, crowdfunding) in which citizens could invest. Residents, associations and organisations will be involved in making the new library multi-purpose. Children and young adults will give valuable input through creative workshops. Non-native speakers by teaching those Dutch and local customs. Create a new place for citizens to learn digital skills.

  • Hands

    A market dialogue, 4 masterclasses, workshops and inspiration café will be organised to grab the attention of all interested parties and keep them informed throughout the entire process. A community infrastructure will be designed where sustainable and circular building techniques are made visible and inspire citizens, organizations and other communities.



Local Desk

Sofie Torfs

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