Arts Campus Asse
In the ambition of making the town center of Asse completely car-free, the revitalization of a prominently located and heritage-rich plot is necessary. The plot currently harbours the town’s main library, cultural center, primary school and youth center, and thus holds the potential to be upgraded into a full-fledgged Arts Campus. The missing programme consists of a new Arts Academy, a community dining hall, spaces for the local music and performing arts associations, an underground public parking and a new road.
We start from the premiss that the new additions inherently make up the connective tissue on many levels (spatially, logistically, programmatically and interpersonally) on both urban and human scale. In order to fully integrate the Arts Campus into the mental map of locals, the new building has to function as a “corner stone” that marks the new edge of town and wraps the Campus’ site. To do so, we place the main entrance not on the street, but in the center of the site. Henceforth, all movement from and to the Arts Academy will have to cross the core, causing a shift in the perceived center of gravity of the site and as such, emphasizing and activating the protected monastery garden. The new publicly accessible Campus is clearly marked by a red paving.
In its outer appearance, the new building seems to be a cluster of three volumes, the scale of which suits the surrounding urbanized tissue quite seamlessly. Its materialization carefully tuned to the heritage patrimony. Inside, the programme is organized to be within a functional proximity to the surrounding buildings and optimized to allow for, perhaps unexpected yet interesting, synergies. Each section (dance, sculpting, painting, music, stage building, …) is given its own distinctive character, making a walk through the building like a constant encouter with new and different micro-cosmi. A new artistic biotope. The communal functions are situated on the street side, adjacent to the soon-to-be car-free main square of downtown Asse.