In the past, the bins were used for illegal dumping. SoGent played with the idea of retaining this state of affairs. Subject to renovation, the bins could be given the green function to which the city’s green department, the project leader, aspired. This was not, however, technically feasible. The incorporation of the project into the Flemish Government Architect’s 2010 Master Test saw the repurposing of the gravel bins take yet another turn. ‘After Sarah Melsens and Roberta Gigante’s design was selected as the winner, the city’s green department withdrew and the urban-planning department assumed control of the project.’ SoGent wanted to create a space that could be shaped by its users. Melsens and Gigante’s proposal met that demand. ‘Instead of attributing functions to the bins, they painted them white,’ explains Van Damme. ‘They catch the light, quite literally, at a spot where you would otherwise struggle to notice them. At the same time, the spaces become a blank canvas that can be filled in by the users themselves.’
Author: Christoph Grafe. This text has been published in the Architecture Review Flanders N°11. Embedded Architecture.