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Project viewed from Carnotstraat
Project viewed from Carnotstraat

Interior space between the shiny film theatres and the transparent wall with vertical circulation.
Interior space between the shiny film theatres and the transparent wall with vertical circulation.

Cross section revealing several vertical visual axes Hotel Art cinema Foyer and gallery Auditorium
Cross section revealing several vertical visual axes Hotel Art cinema Foyer and gallery Auditorium

The slats of the climate facade direct the view inwards, orchestrated by the varying degrees of transparency and patterns of open and closed.
The slats of the climate facade direct the view inwards, orchestrated by the varying degrees of transparency and patterns of open and closed.







PROJECTINDEX
 
POLYVALENT PLATFORM
Academie voor Architectuur en Stedenbouw - Tilburg
ARCHITECTURE

The design is for a public foyer on a square (Koningin Astridplein) in the centre of Antwerp. Across the square is Antwerp Central Station where the TGV, mainline train and Metro lines converge; my project slots seamlessly into this 'railway cathedral'. Conceptually, the public foyer can best be compared to a town square surrounded by buildings for various ends. In truth, the programme consists of a hotel with 110 rooms, an art cinema, an art gallery, a mixed-use auditorium and a handful of shops, bars and restaurants, all giving onto the public foyer. Numerous ancillary hotel facilities - foyers, bars, a swimming pool, a fitness centre, a hairdresser's - are inserted into the multipurpose foyer. Next, all functions are so positioned in and around the foyer that the latter is accessible at all levels to new visitors. Each programme component has its own rhythm, so that the shops, bars and restaurants in the foyer have custom throughout the day. So the foyer is not only an interesting proposition for hotel guests but for the people of Antwerp too.
This complexity in both siting and programme presents an interesting context in which to ponder the extent to which Architecture is capable of approximating the emotional impact of films. It all hinges on the difference between the real and the imaginary - the imaginary that calls upon memories, associations and images of everyday life. The project's design component is largely grounded in a lighting concept. The basic structure is matt black; the floors are executed as a light grey high-gloss surface. This will register everything that is lit up, including the visitors, in its reflecting surface.
Double-glazed partitions separate the programme components in the foyer and contain the lighting. These partitions are hung with image-carriers ranging from graphic screen prints to perforated panels. The difference in intensity of the lighting combines with the image-carriers to create a transparent public space, where visitors are confronted by turns with the real and the imaginary.
Standing in the station forecourt you can look deep into the building through the climate facade. This is made up of slats in varying degrees of transparency that orchestrate the inward views. Here it is the overall sensation that counts, the confrontations with the unexpected.
You're visiting Antwerp for a congress, decide to have a meal, see a film, head into the town and then return to the hotel for the night. What will you remember best - the congress, the meal, the entire evening, Antwerp or the Polyvalent Platform?