Manifesta 9, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Genk Belgium.
Our work could be typified as transformations of the existing. For Manifesta 9 we will work with the characteristics of the existing building, the history of the mining industry, the waste of the new industries and the needs of the facilities for visitors.
LIGHT and DARKNESS
Since we are working in a former mining building, working with darkness is an important feature of the design. The main location for our work will be the basement of the site. This 6000-m2 floor has two closed facades where the building is actually dug into the ground. Visitors enter through one of two open facades. Two light facades and two dark facades result in an extremely light and a completely dark corner. By putting a gradient of artificial lighting from the light to the dark corner we intend to make this contrast stronger.
BLACK COAL and WHITE TRASH
The mining industry has been replaced by several new industries. We made a harvest map of these; an analysis of available waste streams from which we can build all facilities for the visitors. From the program we derived that we need to harvest volumes, flat surfaces, a lot of seats and one special object. Since there is a lot of transport involved in the industries, hundreds of Industrial Bulk Containers are stacking up in the area. These white plastic volumes are ideal to quickly build lightweight structures. They create identity for the facilities and light sculptures in the dark spaces. A company building furniture, has an immense amount of waterproof cut-offs. Another company can supply big bags… Ford motor company is the biggest ‘new’ industry and can deliver Ford-Mondeo parts with a little scratch that we will sculpt into an expressive and functional information desk. Because of this the info-desk will be the most evident, attention attracting, object on the ground floor….
All waste that we sourced turns out to be primarily white, most prominently the IBC-tanks with surfaces assembled from white trespa, seating consists of white big bags filled up with shredded waste. This creates a strong contrast with the black coal and the dirty, deteriorated building.
LINES and ISLANDS
One of the spatial qualities of the basement is that it actually has no direction, but, if you stand on the right points, suddenly the monumental and strong perspectives formed by its structure strike you. Some locations get their identity from specific elements; the concrete blocks, the hole to the next floor, the angled columns. In the plan we work with this by locating functions like restaurant, bookshop, info desk on these specific locations and keeping the longest lines completely free.
COMFORT for VISITORS
We want to supply an overdose of seating possibilities for the visitors by putting approximately 1000 different chairs in and outside the site. So people will feel comfortable to choose whether to sit next to the bar or restaurant or create their own seating corners or mix with other people by carrying the chairs round in the enormous space.
This project is designed in cooperation with Refunc, and realized in cooperation with Refunc and Rob Tak
Website Manifesta 9: manifesta9.org/en/home