0138 Wintercircus Mahy, Ghent, BE
The Wintercircus project is a good example of how to use a consistent approach in restoring a historic monument. In a situationist design, the approach is mainly about modesty and sensitivity, about protecting the great spatial and tacit qualities of the existing building and putting them to a fitting new use. The result is not so much a “polished” project as a method of preservation, where factors such as time and decay are part of a romantic reading of a building produced in a complicated historic process. In that way, this curated decay approach adheres to John Ruskin’s ideas of restoring historic buildings. The Wintercircus’s rough nature dovetails with the rising contemporary taste for raw and unfinished places that’s especially popular in subcultures. This tendency may be seen as a subconscious desire to create an escape from ongoing domestication, the domination of the digital, and a flawlessly planned and tidy environment, and instead to resurrect and to celebrate the wild, the tactile, and the spontaneous.
0138 Wintercircus Mahy
renovation and transformation of the former Wintercircus into a multifunctional public venue
Atelier Kempe Thill + aNNo (architect-concept holder)
Baro + Sumproject (architect)
international competition, first prize, built
Ulrich Schwarz & Travelformotion (airphoto)