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concept 01 original tower, brick exterior 02 original tower, concrete structure 03 new wing, timber interior 04 new wing, metal exterior
concept 01 original tower, brick exterior 02 original tower, concrete structure 03 new wing, timber interior 04 new wing, metal exterior

westgevel
westgevel

doorsnede toevoeging
doorsnede toevoeging

doorsnede toren
doorsnede toren

zuidgevel
zuidgevel

dwarsdoorsnede
dwarsdoorsnede

cilindrische kasten
cilindrische kasten

sfeerbeeld
sfeerbeeld

sfeerbeeld
sfeerbeeld




PROJECTINDEX
 
REFUGE FOR REMEMBERING
Academie van Bouwkunst Maastricht
ARCHITECTURE

A space uniting death and life
‘Can a site of memory also be about forgetting?’ Pierre Nora
This project is about repurposing the historic Malt Tower (Mouttoren) in Belgium’s Hasselt. It embraces my personal quest for the concept of ‘remembering’. By researching various building typologies, I was able to develop an innovative assemblage of architectural ingredients. The design contains aspects of a museum, an archive and a mourning centre; building types with a focus on exhibiting and introspection. It constructs characteristic spaces to accommodate a new experience of mourning, remembering and commemorating. The building’s concept can best be described as a ‘diptych’, in which physical objects and digital identities are intertwined.
Situated in the new Quartier Bleu in Hasselt at a line separating old from new, the Malt Tower is the only extant old building in the area. It is set between the two givens of the new master plan on one side and the existing city on the other. In my design the tower is a unique highlight in this entirely new urban mix. The addition of a horizontal wing strengthens the tower’s vertical thrust. I sought a contrast in materials; this is expressed by the black steel of the new wing as against the red brick of the original tower. The two parts make contact in their structure, the new wing being dimensioned to the tower’s own concrete column structure. As a whole, therefore, the building embraces the present and the memory of the past. It is destined not only for the bereaved but also for casual passers-by as well as local residents.
The interior contains a number of carefully designed architectural routes. Monumental spaces and informal meeting places alternate, a strategy inspired by the Romantics’ admiration for the everyday, the thing that makes us all unique, the power of the existing, the wonderment at what is already there. Treating this everyday as something special brings it back into the spotlight. In the Malt Tower, large cylindrical cabinets present physical everyday objects as special and specific. It is a place to spend time and to move through. In the horizontal wing, I designed characteristic spaces where digital memory can be evoked. This memory is itself everyday, a voice, a laugh, the projection of a face. Indeed, deliberately keeping the distance from everyday life to a minimum creates space for a welter of functions and uses.