Project Saffrou – Oudenaarde

On Friday 2 October, the first stone was laid for the Saffrou project in Oudenaarde. A project that stands for a new vision on urban development. Saffrou will be a sustainable, green and car-free district.
Project Saffrou

The 41,000 m² site on which the new city district will be built has a rich history. In the 19th century, a weaving mill called Saffre Frères was built. In 1925 the construction of a cotton spinning mill followed and in 1929 an additional office building was built in Art Deco style. However, the factory had been empty since 1987.

The site is being redesigned with the Saffrou project. The total project is realized in different phases. In the first phase, 56 apartments, 29 houses and an entrepreneurial hub will be realized. The second phase will include the construction of a residential care center, assisted living apartments, 26 houses and 58 apartments.



The green aspect is very important in the new district. This is fulfilled, among other things, by the construction of a “tiny forest”. A tiny forest is a dense, indigenous forest at least the size of a tennis court. The concept of a “tiny forest” is not yet well known in Belgium, but in the Netherlands 21 have already been built since 2015 and another 50 are planned for the coming year. In total, 5000m² of green space is provided on Saffrou, which means we can rather speak of an “urban forest”.

In addition, nearly energy-neutral homes are being built. Fossil fuels can be kept out via a combination of solar panels, heat pumps and underfloor heating. Furthermore, there is a focus on recupertion. For example, bricks from the demolition were recycled into benches. Rainwater is also recuperated. Charging points for electric cars and bicycles will be available in the 2 underground parking garages to be built.

In the summer of 2022, the first residents will be able to move into this new city district in Oudenaarde.