Our architecture is placed in a specific and fragile environment. We decided to not touch this special atmosphere We decided to leave this special atmosphere untouched. It would be an act of arrogance to build here. Moreover, to resuscitate such an architecture would only be postponing the effective end. Our performance places itself on the boundary of the site of the abbey of Villers. On this border there is a range of three designs that focused on the aspect of water as a transition element between life and death.
Water as the main constituent of the human body; after all we consists of sixty five percents of water. Water as volatile tangibility; it has different aggregation states. Water as a critical turning point; water can be deadly but is vital as well. Water as life cycle; it first condenses on the ground to eventually evaporate and condense again after a long road with several twists. end after a long road, with several twists to evaporate and condense again.
This design is trying to make the intangible tangible and to encompass the elusive.
In ‘Porte de Namur’ ,the first phase of the cycle, the rainwater is collected in the design and brought into contact with the groundwater. It’s where they prepare themselves for the last goodbye of their loved-ones. This port makes a subtle opening in the surrounding monastery wall. The port is embedded in nature without losing its robust character. This solidity formed an architecture that enhances the contact between heaven and earth. Descending into the earth to afterwards aspire heaven.
In ‘Porte de Pharmacie’ the second phase of the cycle is a crematorium designed as well as a heat-up system for the cold water coming from PdN. The heated air is channeled through four chimneys which also heats up the four niches. The concentric structure of the pavilion creates an intimate atmosphere with the emphasis on the outward person.
‘Porte de Bruxelles’, the third and final phase of the cycle, offers a dynamic yet modest moment. Here the heated water comes back above the ground and stores via a sluice complex finally down in a condensation tower. Contrary to PdPh, PdB proves a dynamic but modest moment. The walk on the locks, between the flows ends in a condensation tower . A resting point where the water precipitates and becomes tangible.
The 5.10 on 3.20 metres sized drawing is a collection of different layers: ground water, vegetation, original site, references, our architecture … The different layers were printed on tracing paper and fused together through scanning them in total. on tracing paper printed layers were fused together by scanning this in total.
A grid was laid over the entire drawing and represents the book. Throughout the book, the viewer gets the opportunity to percieve the drawing on different scales. From a distance looking at the big picture, or a book resting in the palms of your hands.
In cooperation with: Ian Leonard and Andreas Verlinden
Specials Thanks to: Mira Sanders, Jo Van den Berghe and de Singel Antwerpen
Exhibition: De Singel, Antwerpen (BE). Provocatie van het schijnbaar onmogelijke. (Okt15)
Publication: A+ magazine 250