The ‘Antwerp Container Parks Master Plan’ by Bovenbouw Architecture defines recycling depots as important public spaces. They are places that everyone visits at some point and which are experienced intensely. Unlike most waste recycling areas, in this design proposal the waste is processed on the rim of the site and space for visitors is located in the centre of the site. This area is conceived as a public space where everyone can see and meet one another. When one person throws something away it may lead to reuse by someone else. The visitor area is a raised surface. It provides not only an overview of the site, but also means that the skips are more easily accessible to the visitors. But a square needs walls to be able to function. Here, they consist of a hut for the personnel, a large canopy for chemical waste and the signposts for the skips. A black horizon line, almost like a strategic swipe of eyeliner, ties all of the elements together and delineates the site against the skyline.
Author: Katrien Embrechts and Esther Jacobs. This text has been published in the Architecture Review Flanders N°11. Embedded Architecture.