Flemish ParliamentSubmit project
Project in cooperation with Giuseppe Farris.
The duo Farris-Schöning won the closed competition for the redesign of the counter room. Through a second competition the assignment for the design of the reception desk in the same building was also granted to them. These designs offer a solution to the practical demands of the Flemish Parliament in which they integrate their projects in a beautiful and elegant way in the existing architecture of the protected monument. De LokettenhistoryThe counter room (De Loketten) in the Flemish Parliament in the former postcheque building in Brussels was designed by architect Victor Bourgeois in 1937. In his original design he already planned a public function for this room. Bourgeois considered the counter room as the most symbolic space in the building, the place where administration would meet the general public. It was supposed to radiate the postcheque's power. The large size of the room (78x22x8m) was meant to copy the dimensions of the streets in the city to create a public inner space. Bourgeois elaborated on this idea by using similar materials for the inner walls to those used for the outer walls. assignmentDuring the redecoration of the postcheque building for the Flemish Parliament, the counter room was completely restored. Following the original plans, the Flemish Parliament wants to turn the counter room into a Flemish meeting place in Brussels once again, a 'covered market square' where a number of functions — essential for emphasising the transparency and openness of the Flemish Parliament — will take place in a carefully considered combination: a corner for reading and information, a Parliament shop, a brasserie and an area for exhibitions and/or lectures, debates, cultural events. This project is regarded as representative for the Flemish Parliament and for Flanders as a whole. conceptThe concept for the design of De Loketten is based on the idea of a pavilion that is placed in the space as a loose element. The difficulty with this assignment was the confrontation with the rational and repetitive architecture of Victor Bourgeois. In order to avoid competition with this protected monument, the design distances itself. By adopting a few architectural characteristics, a relationship with respect to content is established regarding the existing architecture. Another aim of the design is to promote the connection of the activities in the pavilion with regard to the surrounding area. realisationThe project distances itself from the architecture in that the design is different from the counter room in form and choice of material. Furthermore the pavilion is physically isolated from the space because it is built on a floating platform. The indirect lighting under the platform reinforces this visual effect. Architecturally there is a relation concerning content with De Loketten through the modularity which can be found in the architecture as in the attention to detail.
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