Horizon Wanderer

Page 1

presence in the city landscape

Gordon Matta Clark

the emanation of the commons in a city without majorities Patrick Moyersoen and Jasmien Wouters Veronica Volz | maig 24 | KU Leuven


„The presence of certain buildings has something mysterious for me. They just seem to be there. One pays no particular attention to them. And yet it is almost impossible to imagine the place where they stand without them. These buildings seem to be firmly anchored in the ground. They seem like a natural part of their surroundings [...].“ [Peter Zumthor Thinking Architecture]


reading of the site


definition of the great hall




first volumetric proposals


new references


presence in the city landscape

A. Lazarus


B. Botanique C. Pacheco B.

D. Berlaimont E. Cathedrale





- jonction in Brussels

Due to the increasing congestion of the north and south stations, the country and the city of Brussels agreed in 1903 to build a tunnel (The Junction). Raising the outer stations was to avoid level crossings and the construction of the main station was to strengthen the attractiveness of the city center. However, many houses had to be destroyed for construction. Due to lengthy expropriation procedures and various technical problems, the work was considerably delayed. On October 5, 1952, the Jonction was inaugurated. At that time, the Jonction and the boulevard above it were considered a symbol of urban modernity and mobility. However, opinions differ to some extent nowadays, as many complain about the separation between the upper part and its historic center.

part B. during construction

Archives Le Soir

A place where different heights and atmospheres meet. A place where it is only under the bridge, in the tunnel, quiet and protected from street noise. A place that has different speeds: people walk, drive, travel by train, use the bike, or just sit in the botanical garden. A place that feels different during the day than at night.

node tunnel - connection - small square - closed entrance to the botanical garden


Veronica Volz

- visiting the site


- reading of the site

site plan

the embedded plateau

hidden paths

plazas and smaller lawns

tunnel as connection

linear pedstrian line

highlighting different qualities

closed entrance and square

parking roof as viewpoint

large stairs

enclosed garden

wide pedestrian and bycicle path

plateau of the financial tower




5 3 6


- reading of the site


7. P&V Group

5. Silver Tower


6. Belfius Bank

4. Victoria

2. SPF

1. The financial tower

Vistas When exploring Brussels, one often notices the paths, or rather boulevards, that lead directly to a church or other important building. These views are framed by the facades of the buildings to the left and right of the streets. The closer you get to the building you are heading towards, the perspective or even the frame itself changes.

Definition & Reference

- great hall

Where did the great hall get its origin? In the past, the great hall was defined as the main room in royal houses, castles, or country houses. Visitors were received in the great hall, and it was a room that could be used for various occasions. Often, the inhabitants did not have a large living room, so the room could then be expanded into the great hall. The typical spatial characteristics of a great hall were the certain dimensions. Usually, the great hall was a rectangular room that was between one and a half and three times as long as it was wide, and also higher than it was wide. There were usually windows, or even a large bay window, on the long sides of the great hall, and it was entered through a paravent passage, above which there was often a minstrel gallery. A high table was located on the other side of the room, placed on a high platform. Can examples of large halls in slimmer and taller volumes also be found? The entrance hall of the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona could be pointed out for this. Here, the large hall is traversed by different levels, which can create the most diverse moments. The large hall can thus become more differentiated, no longer perceived as huge, but as a place where different forms of the gathering are possible. Since the great hall was a multifunctional space in the historical context, this should also be true for today‘s examples. That is, different spatial situations can happen through flexible spatial design options. What fascinates me about this reference is that different paths can be taken and different perspectives can be captured on the journey up or down. Whether there are many people or just a few, it never feels too big or too cramped.

MACBA - Richard Meier Double Negative - Khoa Vu

different great halls on the roof of the parking

One of the first thoughts that struck me during the analysis was the prominent corner, the unused park roof. From Passage 44, one has a good view of the botanical garden. A more horizontal volume could sit on the roof like a parasite. Another idea related to an intervention on the pedestrian walkway, which drifts between the streets like an enclosed island. Due to its relative width, volu-


- first discovery

connecting the different layers and forming an entrance for the botanic garden mes could be placed. The third intention was related to connect the different levels that are very characteristic of sector B and create a real entrance for the botanical garden. A kind of bridge on which it is possible to take different perspectives and the expression of a square should be connected in this way, as well as the more urban part (boulevard) with the enclosed botanical garden.

small volumes entlong the island

the roof as a physical and visible connection

a physical connection as a journey of discovery

two v conne


- development

volumes as a visible ection and a frame

What do you experience when you walk along with this physical connection? „The feeling that I am not being directed but can stroll at will - just drifting along, you know? And it‘s a kind of voyage of discovery.“ (Atmospheres, Peter Zumthor) A journey where you start in an urban node, transferring from the harsh urban environment into a different and more natural surrounding. Are there other connections as well?

Kempe Thill - Living in between - between different qualities in the city The collage ‚living in between‘ by Atelier Kempe Thill expresses for me my intention. For me, it is these in-between spaces that create volumes through their relationship and placement to each other, thus creating a connection between them. Two different volumes, one that is placed directly in the urban, traffic-congested cityscape on the most prominent


- sharping it - connecting different moments and framing views

section - spaces in-between - visible connection - framing views - vista corner of the intersection and another that stands in a strictly planned green urban oasis, are thus intended to create an exciting space between them. Even within themselves, the two volumes differ in height, depth, and form, and each picks up on the qualities of its respective site or context. They also frame the view of the church at the end of the boulevard.

Romeo und Julia Hans Scharoun Stuttgart-Rot 1955 1959


- towers in relation

Barbican Centre

How can two high volumes relate to each other without one being overshadowed by the other? Romeo and Juliet by Hans Scharoun enter into precisely this relationship. They even complement each other, creating spaces of communion between their facades. Nevertheless, they also have different qualities, which they bring to bear through their special form. Julia‘s circular semicircle encloses a kind of inner courtyard that only opens onto the street on one side. Romeo, on the other hand, has clear edges that define and shape the outdoor space in a completely different way. In London, too, different towers face each other in the Barbican Centre. Here, it is not the height that is the decisive difference, but the way the material is handled and the design of the facades. The botanical garden in Brussels is surrounded by huge towers. But how do these towers connect with the city and the botanical garden? How do we move between these spaces? In this context, two newly placed volumes could define these in-between spaces more precisely and provide support.


- connection to the ground

Richard Serra

How does the building anchor itself to the ground? Merging with the botanical garden. Burying. Lower connection. Cavity. Interior. Connection between below and above. Between outside and inside. vertical. Sky and earth. Framed view. Interplay of light and shadow. Contrast between spaces.

KIT [Kunst im Tunnel] 2017 Düsseldorf Atelier Frtischi Stahl Baum

IMS Paulista Andradee Morettin Arquitetos São Paolo 2017


- how public can a building be?

For my intention, the IMS Paulista in Brazil also plays a major role, because it has two first floors and is thus publicly accessible on different levels. The verticality is thus somewhat dissolved. For me, this building is a public tower that can be used by many different people. Despite its height and verticality, you can feel the transparency and invitation that it radiates. On the floors, sub-echelon spatial scenarios can be offered. IMS Paulista is located in a similar context, as it is also directly adjacent to a tunnel or underpass. Different levels and heights come together again and for me, as with the reference on the previous pages, the question is how is the building anchored in and with the ground. It also provides a good reference or idea of how verticality can be articulated with horizontal elements and spatial ideas and play an important role in the experience of the space. Can‘t even maybe different horizontal and vertical volumes be combined to allow a communal gathering with differentiated scenarios?

Viewpoint from the Boulevard du Jardin Botanique and framed view of the Basilica


- presence in the city landscape

Closer view from the Boulevard du Jardin Botanique and framed view of the Basilica

Opposite view from the Boulevard towards the Square H. Frick. Plaine de jeux


- visibility of the different two volumes

View from the Boulevard Pachéco towards the smaller volume

View from the tunnel of the Boulevard towards the smaller volume

Closer view from the Boulevard Pachéco - visibility of both

[re]defining common ground

Knud Rasmussen

the emanation of the commons in a city without majorities Patrick Moyersoen and Jasmien Wouters Veronica Volz | maig 24 | KU Leuven


I can use the camera to make a place or landscape; the camera to a greater extent projects rather than takes in or reproduces. The camera, or, rather, the eye, produces the impression of the place: I as a photographer am not passively taking in; I am active as a subject generating the object. [Olafur Eliasson]


polyptych in brussels


reference - article about photography


reflection about carnival and the city


reference - composition of an image


process and steps


endresult - polpytych & outlook

Phase two was about redefining the common ground in the form of a winged altar. Polyptych comes from the Greek word polýs, meaning ‚much‘ and ptychē, meaning ‚fold‘ or ‚layer‘. Winged altars were created during the Gothic period and often depict the life of Jesus. The model for our polyptych was the Retable de la Vierge dit de Saluces, which is exhibited in the Broodhuis Brussels. However, the individual panels were not intended to reflect religious practices, but to show different cycles of life. Reflection on the city without minorities should play a major role and be visible on the individual panels. The circles of earth were thereby: midwinter, carnival, spring, midsummer, harvest, and autumn/decay. The circle of life was name-giving, adulthood, love, and death. From these topics, we could decide on one, which we should then work on our panel and show with different Technicken. We chose carnival because it is a ‚season‘ in which the city is perceived differently and also ‚used‘ in a different way.


- [re]defining common ground

Retable de la Vierge dit de Saluces - Broodhuis Brussels

Mary Cycle „When the altarpiece is fully open, the sculpted tableaux depicting the life of Mary can be seen. The Saluzzo altarpiece, like many Brussels altarpieces, has the form of an inverted T. This serves to emphasise the central tableau. Moreover, this shape calls to mind the cross-section of a Gothic church, in which the higher central aisle is flanked by two sides aisles. The symbolism of the church building is emphaisised still further by the presence of the architectural elements. Pinnacles and canopies supported by pillars and openwork friezes can be found on virtually all Brussels altarpieces. The fold leaf and the variety of colours used remain virtually intact on this altarpiece.“ [https:// collections.heritage.brussels/files/ objects/30/documents/Alterpiece_of_ Saluzzo.pdf]


- Mary Cycle

Sammy Baloji working on his dome - Thomas Bertelsen

Remainder of pedestrian bridge along the Boulevard Lumumba


- Filip De Boeck and Sammy Baloji

„...visible nodes within the city. These are sites where the city switches on and off, where quickenings and thickenings of goods, people and publics are generated and the various lines and connections between them become visible.“ [Kinshasa’s fluxes and rhythms - Filip De Boeck & AbdouMaliq Simone]

The Tower - a Concrete Utopia - Sammy Baloji

Filip De Boeck sees photography between theory and the lived experience of the city. He explains that you can construct an analysis or a narrative of urban life in alternative ways with the medium of photography. Thereby narrative describes the question of chronology and sequence. Both, Filip De Boeck and Sammy Baloji have the attempt of creating interdependencies between figures, places, colors, shades, sounds, moods, and effects. How they try to explain the story of cities and show these in pictures helped us to understand how to composite our panel and how to explain our narrative with it. The above quotation from Filip De Boeck, which he makes in the newspaper interview, is for me a description of my site. For me, it describes very well the different levels that come together on this site. It also shows how the complexity of the place can create different gatherings between people. Both the space between the botanical garden and the very clearly built urban environment give room for tense moments. My intervention was also intended to create interstices, both between the volumes themselves and with the surrounding urban environment.


- occupying the streets during carnival

Carnival is also called the fifth season. A time to celebrate once again before the Lenten season begins. These references are meant to illustrate what happens to the city at Carnival and how it changes during this time. On Carnival, the everyday norms and rules do not apply. The city is turned upside down. Suddenly, anything is possible and you can be anything. You are allowed to take on a whole new role and shed your character. Often masks are also part of a carnival procession, where the mask is seen as a disguise and complement to the new role. One is no longer recognizable as the person one normally is. Carnival can also be seen as a time of transition. For with the donning of the costume, the old order is abandoned and the time of fasting, of ‚taking away the flesh‘ is ushered in. It is the climax, so to speak. In the process, the city becomes the scene of this climax. Crowds of people parade through the streets and a community of the moment is created. Suddenly it doesn‘t matter who you actually are, because suddenly everyone is the same. The masks and costumes transform people into unified and connected individuals. But it is also a community for a short time and not for eternity. Because when the costume is taken off, everyday life and normal order returns. In composing our panel, it was important for us to depict this change by being drawn into the city, which changes and is perceived differently. While in the foreground we still wanted to depict everyday order, in the depths the buildings changed into comical and bizarre figures and types. Through this, we wanted to show how the perception of the city changes and highlight it, instead of focusing on the crowds and costumes.

Idea for a future city - Harvey Wily Corbett

A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning - Peter Paul Rubens

The Fight between Carnival and Lent by Pieter Bruegel 1559


- composition of images

The Tower of Babel - Pieter Bruegel

What is the architecture of the image we want to construct? For this, it was important to find different references that would help us to create a composition. So the different steps, like first: conceptualize (make background concept research), second: documentation, and third: making should help us to build up the picture slowly. The paintings of Bruegel showed in their composition the different levels we wanted to take up. Different situations take place in the foreground as well as in the background. Everywhere there is something to discover and when you have looked closely at the individual situations, you understand the big picture and the core message/core theme of the picture. But not only the different levels in Rubens‘ paintings were important clues for us, but also the composition of the colors to emphasize certain situations or to rather hide others were helpful. Rubens‘ paintings also often reflect a certain atmosphere. The question of which atmosphere we would like to show with our theme of carnival was also interesting and had to be answered.


- defining a perspective

Development of the perspective - first attempt was a very wide perspective showing a long street and squares where different moments of the carnival can take place development towards a street perspective that can also show different situations, but in a detailed way

Deciding on a perspective and first attempt to draw the buildings and their facades in detailed form - trying out the materials and colors with the help of Photoshop - thinking about different situations that can take place within this city perspective


- shaping and painting the panel

For us, the frame had an important meaning in its depth, as we chose to build the city 3D to play with different perspectives and depths. By doing this, we also wanted to depict being drawn into the different order that exists through Carnival. That‘s why the frame is not very thick, but five centimeters deep, but then we did the composition.

building the street in thinner wood and trial to make it in 3D


- building the frame and the background street

The frame helped us to compose the image better, as it allowed us to construct a perspective and understand what situations and moments to show in the different areas or parts of the image. We wanted to use the grain of the wood we used for the street to show how the time of the carnival spreads further and further into the city and takes possession of the buildings and the moments that take place.


- constructing the background buildings

After the frame was built, we started designing the buildings for the foreground and deciding to what extent they protrude from the frame. Again, the cantilevering over the frame was to illustrate the unusual order of the time of the carnival. These buildings in the foreground stand out the most and become flattered the further they are placed in the back of the image. An attempt was also to put people in our city, however, it did not work in the composition.


- trial and error We first wanted to represent the kissing people as the ‚fight‘ between everyday life and Lent. This moment of kissing should become an expression of the carnival. However, it was more important to us that the city is perceived differently at carnival time, which is why in the next step we wanted to completely do without people and instead mark the transition by painting the street in bright colors. Slowly, the state of exception of the carnival season becomes more and more visible and noticeable in the city.

The experience of designing such a large panel was a process where I learned a lot. It was a kind of experimentation and spontaneous action and trial and error, as there wasn‘t too much time to plan everything through to the smallest detail. Although in the beginning, we had a rough idea of how we wanted to build the perspective, it evolved and changed during the process, as we could only check and adjust the composition directly on the image. I noticed that through this process my perception of the city has changed yet again, I look again more closely and try to find even smaller details in the city and look at them more closely.


- [re]defining common ground

What places are needed so that people can come together there? Places that can be used so flexibly that the function or the program are not decisive, but their spatial quality is the factor that creates a good common space. Especially by dealing with the topic of carnival and how the city is used and perceived in different living situations or at different times of the year, can help me in the next phase to make spaces tangible through certain and selected materialities. Then not only the spatial configuration is decisive, but also the qualities and textures of materialities that create a certain atmosphere. In the second phase, which has now been completed, I was able to recognize the diversity of usability of different urban spaces by discovering spaces within a city through the design of a large perspective. However, this then no longer only applies to the city, but can also appear on an architectural or building level.


- carving an interior

make it tangible

Peter Zumthor

the emanation of the commons in a city without majorities Patrick Moyersoen and Jasmien Wouters Veronica Volz | maig 24 | KU Leuven


Radical diatonism, forceful and distinctive rhythmical pronunciation, melodic clarity, harmonies plain and severe, a piercing radiance of tone color, and finally, the simplicity and transparency of his musical fabric, the stability of his formal structures. [André Boucourechliev]


sharping - presence in the city landscape


defining - intention


back to the site - finding materials


references - model making and expression


experimenting - process


endresult - make it tangible

towers in relation, sharping and materializing the towers


- presence in the city landscape

‚The first and greatest secret of architecture is that it brings together things, materials from the world and creates space. For me, architecture has anatomy. I take the term body almost literally. Just as we have our bodies with anatomy, skin, and things you can‘t see, that‘s how architecture affects me and that‘s how I try to think and build it: Physical, as anatomy and skin, as mass, membrane, as fabric or shell, cloth, velvet, silk, and shiny steel. It‘s about the literal body, not the idea of the body - the body that I can touch and that touches me.‘ [Peter Zumthor]

view towards the botanical garden


- presence in the city landscape

view from the botanical garden


- intention

Through sketches, I wanted to sharpen the relationships between the towers and the ambiguities and differences within the tower itself. Where does space need openings to get the desired [framed] view? If you think of the towers as ‚brother and sister,‘ they have certain similarities, both externally and spatially. On the one hand, they are in the same context, yet on the other hand, they differ in their location, being separated by a large boulevard. And this boulevard also divides the place into different areas. That is why there is the more urban tower and the other smaller tower in the botanical garden.


- groundfloorplan

financial tower

sibling tower & square pacheco boulevard tunnel

botanical building trees

framing different views




connections and journeys


- principles



1. principle of the towers [plinth and growing out - relationship to each other] 2. stairs and paths through the buildings [it changes - more urban tower - space is formed surrounding the stairs - tower in the botanical garden - spaces enclosed by stairs - path of different sequences]

Back to the site

- finding materials

Good architecture, or buildings that I really like, often show a very specific character of a material. That‘s where my fascination for architecture comes from, where I have the feeling

that it was created for t material is then not onl experiential space to whi by the particular materia

this place. Moreover, the ly visible but forms an ich a new layer is added al property.

That‘s why, when looking for the right materials and their colors, I first went back to the site and took different soils and floor coverings that I found in the botanical garden.

Textures & Surfaces

- botanical garden

tree bark

pedestrian ways

stone wall

smaller pedestrian ways

wooden foodbridge

paved surfaces



Textures & Surfaces

- more urban area

rough concrete panesl

metal panels

concrete panels

redish cobblestones

concrete elements


greyish cobblestones

rough asphalt

How can the textures and surfaces I discovered when revisiting the site be translated to materials? By tracing the different surfaces I tried to find a first feeling or pattern for materialities and to get a better understanding of the context.

Antoine Dufour


- model making and expression


Anne Holtrop

What does the tower in the botanical garden look like? How can I design the walk/journey through the building? Which material do you perceive? What lighting moods can be created by different materials? How do the individual floors differ from each other? Do they change the material in themselves? Do the ambiguities that I found out for myself in my intention also show up within a tower and not only between the two different towers? The botanical garden has many surfaces and textures. Some are more natural and grown, others are sculpted and designed. For me, the model on the left shows how much the building is anchored in the ground and rooted in the environment, which is what I would like to achieve with my tower. The wooden head then grows out of this stone, massive base. So it‘s all about structure and texture and how they are perceived. The right picture shows a rough, organic surface.

Studio Elements


- model making and expression

Claus Pr


How does the tower in the more urban setting differ from the tower in the botanical garden? Can a material be found that does justice to both because of the context? To what extent can the material be used differently to highlight the different qualities of both and yet read a connection between them? While I see the tower in the botanical garden more as a tower that grows out of a somewhat more ‚natural‘ environment due to its context, but at the same time is also enclosed by the glass and high towers of the area, the tower in the more urban context really grows out of the city. It should also be firmly anchored in the city, almost merge with it, but the upper floors should also grow out of the base, the base. As a reference to the glass towers, materials could be chosen that are smooth on the one hand and yet can be given structure. Concrete, or metal elements could be used.

Stadtwerke - Hans Panschar


- model making and expression

This reference was once again decisive for me in how I want to assemble the towers. So on the one hand there is the base, which grows out of its context. And on top of that, there is another volume that helps to perpetuate a new character. So the plinth of the urban tower could get something very stony and change with increasing height [become lighter], while the smaller tower also gets a more massive plinth from which a wooden core can grow out. Or the distribution of the chosen materials, like concrete and wood changes between the towers.

Raamwerk & Van Gelder Tilleman

defining spaces through visible beams


- carving an interior

Antonino Cardillo

framing spaces through different materials

Kolumba - Peter Zumthor

creating spaces with indirect light


- defining openings

Kolumba - Peter Zumthor

connecting inside and outside through framing elements

making a section model to show the different layers of the tower


- process


- testing different materials


- having a walk around the tower


- having a look inside

towers in relation


- horizon wanderer

framed views

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