Have your say: Voting opens for Heritage Prize


Three diverse monuments have been shortlisted for this year’s award, and the public are invited to pick their favourite

Three become one

The three nominees for this year’s Heritage Prize have been announced, ahead of a public vote for the winner. The prize is awarded each year to outstanding heritage projects and this year, the emphasis is on heritage that is not generally accessible to the public. A jury chose the three shortlisted projects from 19 nominations.

The sites in the running for the prize are the Norbertuspoort in Leuven, the Gildehuis van de Vrije Schippers in Ghent and Hof Ter Beemt in Zingem, East Flanders. “We often don’t realise how rich Flanders is in terms of beautiful heritage,” said Ben Weyts, the new minister responsible for heritage. “This prize should put a few lesser-known gems in the spotlight.”

Exemplary renovation

The Norbertuspoort is the northern entry to the Abdij van Park site in Leuven. The once derelict building has been restored and now contains a documentation centre, a sound lab, a digital library and various meeting and work spaces.  

The Gildehuis van de Vrije Schippers is a historic house that has been repurposed as offices for the Ghent port authorities. During restoration, the historic facade and the interiors were adapted based on extensive scientific and historical research.

The 300-year-old Hof Ter Beemt farmstead (pictured) has been transformed by seven young families into a new ecologically sound home, with respect for the site’s original character. The garden, a protected monument, was also restored. The project was not only about heritage but about co-housing, environmentally friendly building and social cohesion.

All three sites will be open to the public as part of Open Monument Day on 8 September, and the online vote is now open. The prize, worth €12,500, will be awarded on 4 October.

Photo: Onroerend Erfgoed/Kris Vandevorst