Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu (SO – IL), the architectural practice of Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu in New York, was awarded the first prize in an open call by the Flemish Government Architect to design an 500 m2 community center for a small village in Flemish-speaking Belgium. Out of 5 designs, SO – IL’s solution was considered the most appropriate. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Wulpen, a hamlet of 500 inhabitants, is centered around a significant brick church in the coastal polder landscape. Opposite the church lies the former town school, which has been closed for several years due to a lack of attendance. Predestined to be demolished, SO – IL proposes to salvage the existing school, restructure it and expand upon it to form a gathering space for the multi-generational community.
A multipurpose room is housed in the former two classrooms of the school; meetings rooms are located in the previous teachers house, facing the street. The youth gets a new, circular room, situated in a “wild” garden opposite the courtyard – the former schoolyard. These elements are strung together with a thin covered walkway. This cast in place concrete ribbon redefines the open space and a majestic ancient tree.