STAM is a contemporary heritage forum and the Bijloke site the gateway to the city.
STAM is a contemporary heritage forum and the Bijloke site the gateway to the city. This requires the sort of amenities the historical abbey and convent buildings are unable to offer: reception area, meeting rooms, technical and utility areas, circulation axes, etc. Hence, the brand-new reception building links up with the abbey and the convent.
City architect Koen Van Nieuwenhuyse designed a building that on the one hand underlines the Bijloke's historical patrimony and on the other forms a transparent, twenty-first-century portal. A wide path leads from Ghent's inner ring-road to the open house of STAM. Museum
garden, terrace and pond are prominent features of the remodelled Bijloke site.
Bijloke abbey houses STAM's permanent circuit. Later on an open repository will be integrated into it. All parts of the abbey have been refurbished and security optimized. Floors were lowered to a former level and a number of openings which were closed off in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were reinstated, all with a view to improving visitor flow. The link between the abbey church and the dormitory and ambulatory were restored. Abbey and convent once again spill over into each other.
The convent will be STAM's space for temporary exhibitions and projects. It, too, was refurbished throughout and a number of historical openings were reinstated.
The lodge houses various visitor amenities and several collection items. It has also the necessary infrastructure for hosting meetings. Access to the Poor Room and the Baudelo Room is separate from the actual circuit. The infirmary was given over to collection management and conservation. This is the ideal location for a repository for part of the collection.