We asked the interior designers Doorzoninterieurarchitecten to design a local mosque in which a Muslim community of five hundred people could organise its daily social and religious life. The starting point is the nineteenth-century inner area of a medium-sized Flemish city. The challenge lies in creating a serene transition from the chaotic urban planning conditions to a place of ritual. At the same time this is a very complex interior assignment, since prayer, sermons and ritual washing, as well as cooking, eating, festivities, study and play are all part of the traditional use of a mosque. How can these cultural values be expressed in architecture and a universal, new microcosm be created? Interior decorators Caroline Lateur and Stefanie Everaert of Doorzoninterieurarchitects show the results of their work from April 18 on.
At the start of the century Caroline Lateur and Stefanie Everaert worked for Maarten Van Severen and in 2005 started their own firm. Their early work shows craftsmanship and a maximum spatial impact. In their conversions and custom-made furniture they combine tactility, experimentation and a surprising use of colour.
For the duration of two seasons, deSingel and the Flemish Architecture Institute are offering eight young architectural firms a platform on which to present their ideas on architecture, urban planning and landscape design to a broad audience. The architects are selected by the curators Katrien Vandermarliere (VAi project leader) and Christoph Grafe (director of VAi) and are commissioned to carry out design-based research. These are projects that mirror real assignments and which show what contribution architecture can make to society, more specifically to the organisation of cities and landscapes. They might for example be asked to reflect on the contemporary appearance of mosques in Flanders or the urban development of a city such as Antwerp. Or else the curators may ask the architects to devise new concepts for buildings that have fallen into disuse as a result of the increase in the scale of agriculture. In short, these are stimulating exercises that may provide solutions to pressing issues in society and to intellectually challenging questions.
The solutions put forward undoubtedly provide material for critical debate, not only between different generations of architects, but also between architects and the public. The designs are displayed simply on the corridor walls, where they can be commented on directly, just as in a design studio. And it is not only the professionals who can air their views; you too will have the chance to do so. Openly, freely and frankly.
‘Young Creators Thinkers Dreamers – Architecture in Flanders’ demonstrates a faith in the challenge of a stimulating assignment, the necessity of constructive discussion, and the power of the architectural drawing. But above all in making the acquaintance of the makers, thinkers and dreamers in a new generation of designers in Flanders. Poetic, creative, socially committed, questioning, investigative and critical.
Debate on 17 april 2012 - 20h
Members of the debate are Stefanie Everaert, Caroline Lateur (Doorzoninterieurarchitecten), Meryem Kanmaz (MANA), Cihan Bugdaci, Ergün Erkoçu (Concept 0031), Sami Zemni (UGent), Christoph Grafe en Katrien Vandermarliere (VAi)