Strangely Familiar – Antwerp, Belgium © Jodie Kellas Wilson

Strangely Familiar – Antwerp, Belgium

Jodie Kellas Wilson

Mackintosh School of Architecture

Project Description

By creating an architecture and a new programme which celebrates the mundane city, the thesis transforms “anaesthetics” to “aesthetics”, through a new contemporary architecture which feels ‘strangely familiar’. It is a new urban playground which celebrates the process of ‘discovery’ in the city by referencing the shifting geometries of the medieval plan. The thesis explores the texture of the mundane city; the symbols and patterns which are commonly overlooked. The mundane symbols which are known and familiar within the context of Antwerp are abstracted and re-cast on the site in a playful manner. The external realm can then house abstractions of familiar city façades as a contemporary face onto the new urban passage. Antwerp offers a mosaic of elegant architectural styles and a similar mosaic is recreated on the site. It is a celebration of Flemish vernacular.

Sustainability Agenda

The architecture is a reference to the place, responding to relevant vernacular precedents. The everyday exists on the site as a new urban route, where the street is the one thing we know will last beyond the functional programme. The architectural technology of the thesis is to use ‘casting’ as a tool to recreate the memory of place. The project stands as a series of building which will last for centuries.