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Jonction in transition

Jonction in transition

Teacher: Petra Pferdmenges
Academic year 2020-21, semester 2, Brussels
Engagement: The Brussels Way / Urban Cultures

Image: Eichbaumoper (Raumlabor): transformation of metro station into an opera house

The so-called Jonction is the North-South connection in the center of Brussels and with 1200 trains / day the busiest railway tunnel in the world. It includes Brussels major stations South, Central and North that are departure points to Amsterdam, Paris, London… The many vacant spaces along the Jonction inspire politicians, architects, urbanites and activists to reflect and test upon possible future uses for these deserted spots (e.g; Tripostal, Brussels Souths Station, Communa, 2019-…).

This spatial condition within the intercultural metropolitan context of Brussels allows working on the cutting edge of architecture, expanding the discipline from built space to Lived Space (1). To do so, you will chose individually (or with a working partner) a site along the Jonction and design a future vision for it that allows for use and appropriation (2040). Simultaneously you will propose a temporary activation for the same spot (2021). How is it possible to expand such ephemeral use to generate durational Lived Space along the rail line? You will approach the design within the framework of circular economy and reuse of materials, which are more than ever gaining importance within the context of the post COVID-19.

In order to explore and communicate the change of space over time, you will use film as a media throughout the studio, starting today by observing the existing situation towards visualizing your vision for the future. It will allow each student (or a team of 2 students) to initiate an innovative spatial practice, based upon the given context of the studio.

You will

  1. Identify a site of your interest along the Jonction
  2. Document the existing situation of the site
  3. Design a vision for the future of that site (2040)
  4. Propose a temporary use for it (2021)
  5. Draw a socio-spatial transformation for that site (e.g. 2021 – 2025 – 2040).
  6. Make a film to visualize this change of space over time

If COVID-19 will allow it, the films will be exhibited in one of the vacant spaces, activating a site along the Jonction while sharing visions for multiple spots with the public.

(1) Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, Victoria, Blackwell Publishing 1998

Studio brief as pdf.