Typology: Public Space
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Construction Date: 2012-2016
Photos by: François Lichtlé
Conceptually, the project was fascinated by rugs. Rugs are present in almost every culture, at every social level and in various environments: from tents to castles.
They have multiple uses and have transgressed centuries. On a floor, by its simple two-dimensional presence, it clearly defines a space, one that can be used to unite people. Finally, rugs are often present in stories and legends and speaks to our collective imagination.
In 2012, one of the communes of Brussels, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, organized an invited competition to revitalize the parcSaint-Rémy, which had become a shady drug-dealing hot spot, completely abandoned by families and neighbors.
The citizens therefore showed great enthusiasm for therenovation of this place and their needs, defined collectively,were integrated in the design process.
The project consists in taking away all barriers to unify the public square. Also, it proposes an « urban rug » of coloured cement tiles which is stretched over the entire surface. At times the surface of the rug undulates offering tiled dunes in the urban landscape. These spaces encourage spontaneous playgrounds. The existing trees and furniture were preserved. New trees were also planted as were some pockets of vegetation. The « rug » embraces and unites all the users of the renovated square to offering a singular sense of community.
The materials and forms employed, simultaneously banal and exceptional, reflect the simple force that forges the newidentity of this place.