De Bloemmolens

This project entails the reconversion of the old flour mills in Diksmuide (former Westori museum) into a living and working project. The building has been a protected monument since 1995. The design came about in close cooperation with Diksmuide, the neighbourhood and the heritage department.

For the sake of long-term preservation, a meaningful and sustainable repurposing of the monument was essential. A previous attempt to make it into a museum resulted in decay of the site and its relationship to its surroundings. As the starting point of the concept, we reconnect with the landscape and the Handzamevaart canal, to this end giving the industrial site back its open character by restoring the covered square between the towers.
Twenty-six residential units are planned together with office spaces, divided between the two grain towers and the new volumes. Because of the vertical layout of the mills’ industrial processes, it was an interesting challenge to organise the new live-work functions logically and at the same time keep them compatible with the building’s heritage value. The west tower, which had already been extensively modified, was arranged horizontally in favour of housing. In the east tower, where the authentic milling equipment was still intact, the vertical division was maintained. Here we decided to install the work functions, integrating the entire historic machinery. These necessary transformations were determined in close consultation with the heritage consultant and deal respectfully with the valuable, industrial characteristics of the monument with maximum legibility of the original industrial building and their operative spirit in mind.

We stripped the mills of all elements that were added when they were repurposed into the Westoria museum. Between the 2 towers, we envisage a new publicly accessible square connecting the Flower Mills district with the Handzamevaart canal, offering the district contact with the landscape and the water. Moreover, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to connect to the path along the canal via the car-free courtyard and bridge. A number of historical machines will be on permanent display along the square. The project also focuses on sustainable mobility; in addition to a number of fixed parking spaces, car sharing will be used, 4 spaces have been provided for this purpose. A tearoom will be located at the Handzamevaart so that everyone can enjoy the surroundings from the terrace. The use of glass and steel for the new volumes supports the industrial character of the project. This strengthens the link with walking and cycling tourism along the waterfront. Connection is the key word of the project, after years of vacancy and degradation, the Flour Mills will regain a key function in the daily life of the city.


repurposing of the Bloemmolens into 26 apartments and commercial spaces




architecture stability infrastructure




In progress




GBL Studio / Pixelminds