La Biomista - Genk

Repurposing of Zwartberg zoo and mining site.

For this site, BuroLandschap designed the green link between contemporary art, bio-cultural diversity and heritage.

The former Zwartberg mining site, which after its decommissioning was used as a zoo until the 1990s, is now owned by the city of Genk.

The site is full of mining rubble, resulting in a barren, desolate landscape. The director’s villa is currently being renovated by the local government.

BuroLandschap restored the villa’s landscape garden with pond to its former glory. By adding trees, grasses and roses, this is once again a romantic English park.

Situated in the area of tension between both parts is the studio of artist Koen Vanmechelen. Here, he tells the story of ‘chicken and wolf’, from domestication to a return to the wild.

He does this through animal enclosures, which BuroLandschap embedded in the existing landscape.

An elevated, concrete path was laid throughout the park with various lookout points and bridges across the animal enclosures.

The existing vegetation in the landscape was preserved and retained where possible during the project to create a natural, harmonious whole.


Location :                     Genk

Commissioned by:      Stad Genk

Team :                           BuroLandschap & Mario Botta Architects

Surface area:              20 ha

Construction period: 2016 - 2019

Status :                         Completed