Client: FASadE, forum of Architecture and Urbanism, Amersfoort
Team: Jan Willem with Kuilenburg with Vania Citraro, Ignacio Rodriguez Vergara Dominguez, Flavia Oddi, Dalila Pace, Maura Rotelli, Angela Verrengia
The Belgian Monument is situated in the periphery of Amersfoort. It is a National Monument consisting of a main building, a memorial wall and a garden.
It was built as a thank-you by Belgian military refugees during the First World War to keep up their skills.
To commemorize its 100–year anniversary, FASadE, Forum of Architecture and Urbanism in Amersfoort, organized a design competition to revitalize the monument (by an object, folly, pavilion or land art) as a memorial space for displaced persons.
Our design is meant to bring people together and make a more contemporary space by connecting history and current turmoil.
The space between main building and memorial wall is programmed by an open pavilion in a simple, and above all, functional way that re-connects building and memorial wall.
A floating fragment of the garden makes a space that is nested in the heart of the current monument in a natural way.
It is meant for memorials of the First World War and first and above all for displaced persons and their stakeholders; to come together for various activities like commemorations, exchange of experiences and information, cooking and eating together, storytelling, local intercultural events, lectures.
The roof is a lifted part of the garden with a gravel path underneath. On the roof grows lavender, the soothing plant. It grows without a proper place and like the displaced people for which the monument is meant, it collects in this place. As it is all about people, the architecture wants to stay in the background. The ceiling is mirror-like and reflects the activities taking place below.
It is an open pavilion that can offer a half climate by using metal curtains. The columns that carry the roof are placed in a way to make three zones that guarantee a varied use. A stairs that can function as a grandstand completes the connection between building and wall.
The gravel is also used to make stair steps and a pair of concrete multifunctional elements that function as tables or cooking / exhibition places.
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