Emblematic of the failures of the modernizing project, the North Quarter in Brussels bears the scars of 50 years of demolitions, expulsions and speculative developments in service to small group of elite property owners. The spectacle of Expo 58’ ushered in a modernizing project via ‘The Manhattan Plan’ and in the decades following, thousands of households were cleared and over 55 hectares of vibrant neighborhood reduced to rubble. Yet the failures of this grand plans are visible for all to see. The office towers of the North Quarter lie empty, yet more are being built. Seeking to understand the North Quarter solely through its failures can limit our capacity to imagine a different way forward.
Thus it comes the question: How else can we work? In the framework of a design studio based in the temporarily occupied World Trade Center, we decided to work as a design collective in order to seek to establish an alternative, complementary architectural practice that would allow us to work with the complexities of lived space in order to bridge the gap between those who hold the power that shapes the city, and those who live in it.
In collaboration with: Alessandro Caputo, Nam Doan, Charlotte Gaubert, Melissa Jin, Aslı Eylem Kolbaş Pedro Akio Hasse, Sarah Manderson, Patricia Marco, Pawel Matacz.