NOA outdoor living NOA outdoor living
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25 October 2023 | Case story

NOA outdoor living... an innovative approach to showcasing outdoor design

In the heart of Belgium, in a premium location, several partners have joined forces for the development of an original concept called NOA outdoor living. The impressive landscape park adds another dimension to the experience of outdoor design. NOA’s 12 inspiring pavilions and park form an idyllic place, where individuals and professionals can be inspired, reflect and create.

Belgian design has been at the forefront of the outdoor living segment for many years already. But when Renson Outdoor moved to this new site, the company’s mission, “Creating Healthy Spaces”, took on a whole other dimension. “We spend more than 80 percent of our time indoors, whereas being outdoors reduces stress, stimulates creative thinking and lowers the risk of illness and absenteeism,” says CEO Paul Renson. “More and more people believe outdoor living should be just as comfortable as indoor living, with the lines between the two becoming increasingly blurred. Our aim was to share this vision by creating a unique concept in the form of NOA outdoor living,” says CEO Paul Renson. “We joined forces with 30 national and international high-end partners, who each specialise in an aspect of outdoor living, enabling visitors to discover a vast and diverse array of products and companies. NOA is the place to go for inspiration for the design of an outdoor living space. At NOA, we show how architecture, landscape and interior can blend seamlessly.”

An impressive landscape park

Koen Rygole of BurO Groen landscape architects conceived the design of the impressive three-acre landscape park. “We devised a support structure for the park as a whole, which includes a 600-metre looped walking trail, parking spaces and a stunning avenue,” Rygole says. From the moment you enter the site, it’s clear that great emphasis has been placed on the scenic experience and architectural quality. As such, the NOA design makes it clear from the outset that NOA outdoor living is an all-in experience.

“The team created 12 conceptual pavilions in the park setting, focussing on outdoor kitchens, wellness, office space, a residential home or an urban garden”, says Bram Couvreur of creative marketing agency Maister. “We devised the most stimulating interpretation and design for each space in close consultation with the partners. Displaying the products in a natural setting makes it easier for visitors to envisage what they would look like in their own gardens. In effect, we designed an environment around the product to showcase its assets, whereas products are usually integrated in an existing setting.”

Trees & plants

BurO Groen translated the concepts into implementation plans. “The walkway connects the different pavilions, allowing visitors to explore these inspiring spaces. The journey starts at the Renson building, which is situated four metres higher than the pond, which is the lowest point in the park. The pond and a giant cistern capture water from the site, which is then reused in an ingenious irrigation system with moisture metres, ensuring the park always looks at its best,” Rygole explains. “We selected the paving for the terraces and the plantings, working with tree nursery Van den Berk. Based on their expertise, we opted for a Platanus Orientalis, a climate-resistant urban tree with very compact leaves. We planted robinias in the Plaza, as their pinnate foliage lets through the light but also serves as a natural canopy against the sun. In other pavilions, we matched the plants to the colour of the materials and products used. Thanks to a partnership with perennial plant specialist Spruyt, we were also able to make less obvious choices, which may inspire visitors. We also used many native trees, such as oak, hornbeam or hawthorn.”

A stunning example of top-notch architecture

The 380-metre-long floating XXL garden pavilion, as architect Luc Binst calls it, is equally impressive. “The eight-metre-tall façade serves as a billboard and a visualisation of what visitors can expect in the NOA park behind it. “The fact that the building has become a recognisable landmark along the Ghent-Kortrijk road in no time at all offers tremendous leverage for the 30 innovative and ambitious brands that joined forces to develop NOA,” says Binst, who partnered with Embo Architects for this project. “The showroom spans the full height of the eight-metre architectural volume, which has been inserted into a linear frame consisting of two earth-coloured canopies. Because the building is positioned slightly above ground level, you have a great view of the traffic that is rushing past. “There is a continuous interaction between reflection and transparency, depending on the rotation of the eight-metre-tall, earth-coloured loggia panels and the influence of light and weather. The tactile, dynamic façade seems to be in constant motion.

Inspiring meeting and event place

The experience continues in the indoor showroom, which is concealed behind the glass section of the façade. “In addition to even more pavilions, we have also created spaces here where people can meet, including offices, meeting and conference rooms, and spaces for networking events. Professionals, such as garden, landscape, and (interior) architects, can also receive their clients here and browse our materials library with samples. It’s an inspiring experience all around, which is exactly what we set out to create. Instead of a retail outlet or a classic showroom, NOA is a place to broaden your view and get inspired in a relaxing setting. Once your project is more concrete, you can contact one of more than 30 partners and they will be happy to help you design your ‘outdoor living space’ in more detail,” says Hilde Baekelandt, concept manager at NOA.

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