on Xavier Hufkens’ newly expanded flagship in Brussels

Xavier Hufkens’ flagship enlargement will get a monolithic design

To mark the thirty fifth anniversary, up to date artwork Gallery Xavier Hufkens lately expanded its flagship location at 6 rue St-Georges in Brussels, giving option to a contemporary constructing, with six flooring, on 2,200 sq. meters. Designed by architects Robbrecht & Daem, the extension reveals a sequence of stacked concrete volumes that lightly distinction and rework the prevailing flagship housed inside a Nineteenth-century home.

Greater than 800 sqm of latest, minimalist and light-filled exhibition rooms are unfold over 4 ranges, nearly tripling the exhibition capability since 1992, when the St-Georges gallery was established. Extra options embrace a renovated out of doors exhibition space, upgraded workers workplaces, a analysis library and art work storage amenities.

On this event, designboom spoke with proprietor Xavier Hufkens and venture architect Paul Robbrecht to additional uncover how this newly expanded flagship gallery took place and what it stands for.

all pictures © HV-studio, except in any other case acknowledged

(full header / first picture © Kristien Daem)

interview with Xavier Hufkens and Paul Robbrecht

designboom (DB): What motivated you to open the brand new expanded house at St-Georges?

Xavier Hufkens (XH): Above all, I wished to offer again to the artists I work with in addition to the group. For artists, I hope this enlargement will problem and stimulate them to push the boundaries and make the artwork they wish to make. As for our guests, my ambition is for the gallery to be a real assembly place and cultural vacation spot for artwork lovers from all around the world, whether or not by organizing free exhibitions, public talks with artists and curators, guided excursions, and so forth. I consider this. it’s essential, particularly when some politicians contemplate tradition a luxurious on which they’ll compromise.

interview: about Xavier Hufkens' new flagship gallery in Brussels

Xavier Hufkens’ new flagship enlargement in Brussels reveals minimalist designs

DB: And the way did the design course of evolve from there? What was the place to begin?

Paul Robbrecht (PR): Initially, the venture has a particular connection to the historical past of the constructing: thirty years in the past, Robbrecht en Daem – in collaboration with Marie-José Van Hee architecten – remodeled the traditional mansion into the gallery’s first dwelling. The design mixed the on a regular basis with the creative expertise. With this historical past in thoughts, the place to begin for the brand new constructing was a self-reflection on the work of 30 years in the past. It was about re-reading the spatiality of the previous and the way a brand new scale – at which bigger artistic endeavors may very well be displayed – may very well be built-in. It was an attention-grabbing dialogue between the alternatives made three many years in the past and the wants of in the present day.

flagship Xavier Hufkens

light-filled and minimalist interiors

DB: Are you able to introduce us to among the important spatial options of the venture?

PUBLIC RELATIONS: Actually the complicated association of the areas, the interplay of the completely different scales and the full transitions between the prevailing constructing and the brand new one. Some areas have a staircase harking back to a museum, others of a home. The brand new constructing stands out as a monolithic determine, with one facet of the constructing fully indifferent from its neighbor. This disconnection creates a transition between road and backyard and inside and outside. The interstice permits a flash of sunshine to mark the visible begin of your go to. The only-opening rue St-Georges facade seems as a form of one-eyed stele and symbolizes the “ready of artwork”.

flagship Xavier Hufkens

DB: Having stated that, how does the brand new extension reply to and combine with the prevailing gallery constructing?

PUBLIC RELATIONS: There may be each an architectural dialogue and a confrontation. The entire design favors an in depth connection between the prevailing and the brand new: the ground ranges are aligned in order that an “architectural promenade” can run by each side of the constructing. The interplay between the 2 buildings creates a constellation of various areas, with museum proportions within the new constructing and room dimensions within the current mansion. This vary of scales corresponds to the range of the artwork exhibited within the house, from a monumental portray, sculpture or set up to the intimacy of a print.

A uncooked concrete staircase works as a counterpoint to the purity of the gallery areas. The cascading, stacked construction of the brand new structure creates skylight openings on every flooring, giving every room its personal identification. Quite a lot of pure mild incidences all through the gallery enable for various experiences. The design can also be a elementary response to Brussels and its structure. Whereas Brussels is characterised by imitations or interpretations of Nineteenth and twentieth century structure, this extension needs to depart from its personal logic and power.

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