Mechelen, 2011-2015

In the beginning of this assignment, the role of IEA was only as mediator between 5 different parties involved in an ongoing design process. However, upon formulating a new design concept a new proposal for the experience of the project, the City Council of Mechelen decided to entrust IEA with the development of the proposal. Instead of a classic top-down approach, where the design process develops as a zoom-in from the larger urban scale to the smaal scale interior, IEA formulated in this case a synchronous approach of multiple scales and disciplines. The results of this multilateral approach involving urban planning, architecture, historic preservation, technical solutions, interior design and even landscape, simultaneously researched and designed have been condensed in these concepts and guidelines: Creation of a clear urban circulation and spatial orientation. Creation of an elegant relationship between the historical and the new buildings. Creation of a number of clear user and experience centres or "boxes". Creation of spatial efficiency and energy optimization. Creation of quality green (exterior) areas. These concepts were developed and tested in a series of urban scale models, programmatic scenarios and spatial schemes, which were later cemented in the design. The project was made in collaboration with the office Beeck / Oostpool, who were in charge of the restoration of the monument.