Discover Benelux, Issue 30, June 2016

Page 17

Discover Benelux | Design | Top Belgian Architecture and Design Guide

Public project - Reconversion of an old convent Julianus - Tongeren (Belgium).

main advantage of PTFE is that it has a great economic and ecological value. It is like the nomads in Tibet: all the materials are used as economically as possible, with the environment always on our mind.”

Dragons and dreams Nomad Concept also designs sail sculptures for public spaces. They were asked to create a sculpture for the monastery of Tongeren, which was around the same time as The Lord of the Rings movies came out. “When I saw the scene with the dragons descending from the skies, attacking the people on the ground, I knew this was what I wanted to create at the monastery.” With a 40 by 40-metre free span, it is one of the biggest projects that VanQuaille has realised. “It turned out beautiful, with our own dragon descending and attacking the apple tree that is in the centre of the courtyard.” This project was awarded an International Design award in 2013. “I was also able to fulfil one of my dreams. Besides architecture, I have always been a huge fan of classical music – I have played the organ in church many times. So I always wanted to design a theatre or concert space, where people could play classical music. That opportunity came at Fort 4 in Mortsel, south of Antwerp,” VanQuaille tells. “We have created a cathedral-like sculpture in the courtyard,

where people can walk and listen to or play music. The sound there is so good that it is being used to record music. It really was a dream come true.” VanQuaille has many dreams for the future and the role of Nomad Concept. They started this year with their first ‘closed architecture-project’: creating sail sculptures as buildings with an insulated skin wrapped around wooden structures. “I think the time of old fashioned concrete and brick office buildings is over,” says VanQuaille. “Political or economic changes and opportunities will create

a need for mobile and flexible offices, factories and warehouses, some made of sails, fully insulated and ecologically friendly, and still sustainable. We have to think about our planet.” One thing that will never fade is VanQuaille’s passion for art and aesthetic values. “Emotion is everything. Without it, the world is bleak. If Nomad Concept keeps capturing the emotion of the landscapes in our designs, we will create the most beautiful sail sculptures ever made.”

Public project - Fort 4, reconversion of an old fortress - Mortsel (Belgium).

Issue 30 | June 2016 | 17