Z33 House for Contemporary Art
Francesca Torzo Architetto
The external cladding of bricks handcrafted in shape of diamonds engages with the context, evoking the language of the neighboring buildings
The Beguinage of the Flemish region of Hasselt was founded in the 13th century on the outskirts of the city. It was destroyed two-hundred years later and its reconstruction behind walls went on until the 1950s when the complex became residential. Today it has become a center for contemporary art and a small place for rest. In this context, the project by the Italian architect Francesca Torzo reinterprets the heterogeneous language of the ensemble to complete the block and extend the museum’s current venue with a building that defers to the history of the place.
The new volume shows the contrast between the city and the small community through the expression of its facades – a masonry wall with practically no openings towards the street in opposition to the perforated interior elevation –, blending in with the historic buildings surrounding it. As in the old wing all the halls are different, the extension building follows this approach and the rooms vary in proportion, form, and light atmosphere to adapt to the new needs of the exhibition venue. The rooms overlook each other to create a continuous circulation route.