Jacopo Zani

Interiors Buildings Cities, Independent Group

The central garden expresses the project's dialectic between ruination and cautious restoration, community and natural landscape.

Gardens of Dialectics: A story of decay and reconstruction

The project discusses the present and possible futures of a former mining-economy Company Town in the Belgian province of Limburg. Its state of decay and depopulation are accepted, and its latency is taken as a place from which to reconstruct its future. The project proposes that fragments of the surrounding natural world are allowed to establish themselves within the settlement, gradually dissolving its original rigid structure.

The centre - where former institutional buildings have fallen into ruin- is used as a testing ground. Remaining and possible new inhabitants are guided in restoring facilities with simple materials and means.

The outcome is not that of a final product, but rather a speculative process of incremental transformations. The proposal allows for some things to fall apart while re-establishing roots and foundations within which people and other living things can live together with mutual respect and dignity.