Like no other square in Ghent, the ‘Kouter’, with its central location, has managed to retain its nineteenth century appearance. The north side of the square is bordered by several shops and joins the ‘Veldstraat’ shopping area to the somewhat self-willed area around the ‘Brabantdam’.
A few small cafés, brasseries and restaurants sit comfortably in the shadow of the ‘Vlaamse Opera’, Ghent’s stately opera house. In 1998 the ‘Kouter’ underwent a makeover. An oyster booth, a renovated bandstand, an underground car park and the contemporary work of art ‘The Mystic Leaves’, by American artist Jessica Diamond, all helped to inject new life into the square.
The majority of trim house fronts around the square, gracefully and quietly bestow status to major banks and office branches. In part also due to a new road layout, these bank buildings make the south side of the square a rather quiet side. It is in that peaceful setting that one of the most commanding façades on the ‘Kouter’ can be found.