Type: Invited competition (second place)
Location: Alveringem, Belgium
Jason Slabbynck i.c.w. Klaas Vanslembrouck
Competition proposal for a Landmark at the Former Church of Sint-Rijkers Site.
In our quest to create a distinctive landmark, we aim to forge a profound connection between the structure and its historical surroundings. Our vision encompasses not only the physical location but also delves into the narrative of the former Church of Sint-Rijkers. Rooted in the Romanesque and Gothic styles, the church's original construction serves as the primary muse for our landmark design.
Inspired by the essence of a pulpit, a symbol with inherent directionality, our landmark takes on a purposeful gaze and voice. The pulpit, traditionally a platform for spoken communication, lends itself to a unique visual language that distinguishes it from conventional lookout towers. Despite the absence of a pronounced focal point in the broader area, we deliberately orient our landmark towards the vanished Church of Sint-Rijkers. This deliberate choice introduces an element of the absurd yet poetic, prompting visitors to engage their imagination when confronted with an ostensibly empty space.
Drawing upon the fundamental components of a pulpit – the balcony, staircase, supporting structure, and roof – our landmark seamlessly amalgamates the Romanesque and Gothic styles. Extruding the round arch into a barrel vault captures the robustness of Romanesque architecture, while the slender pointed arch, originating from a square column, embodies the grace of the Gothic style. The combination forms an abstracted fragment reminiscent of a church building.
Functionality meets aesthetics as the stone-like material not only supports a simple lectern serving as a lookout point but also serves as a roof. To enhance the landmark's accessibility, we incorporate a bench at its base, offering walkers and cyclists a serene vantage point. Positioned against a protective wall, the bench shields visitors from the prevailing southwest wind, ensuring a comfortable and contemplative experience.
Our proposal envisions more than a physical structure; it encapsulates the spirit of the Church of Sint-Rijkers, inviting all who encounter it to embark on a visual and imaginative journey through time and space.
© Studio Jason Slabbynck