The last remaining textile factory on the Buda Island -an area predestined to become the cultural heart of the city- is transformed into exhibition spaces. The large volume, situated in the middle of a city block, is restructured by two main interventions. The first action is to hollow out a big void in the center of the building, allowing daylight to penetrate deeply into the vast floors. This pentagonal void houses a public staircase, spiraling up to connect the different floors and mezzanines to a roof terrace. The second action is to add an open air pavilion as entrance hall on the street. Built entirely in the yellow brick found back in the interior, this pavilion becomes the new, clearly distinct facade of the complex: the tip of the iceberg. The pavilion refrains itself from displaying the art on the street, but rather functions as an antechamber giving a foretaste of a bigger event inside or exhibiting work-in-progress.
The Buda Art Centre is a new type of cultural space. It refers to its past and remains a workshop of production instead of consumption. The choice of materials and details makes it an approachable space for all kinds of activities and users. The warm range of colors and the series of rather informal spaces invites people to appropriate the building for discovery, production, exhibition and casual interaction. The central void creates a clear path of circulation that accesses a diverse range of spaces on four levels: a fabrication laboratory, multifunctional spaces of different light conditions and sizes, music venues, the roof terrace. While the building is hidden between its surrounding context, the roof terrace provides a sudden confrontation with the city of Kortrijk. The building is a tool to look, not an object to look at; it creates an environment, not an image.