BORGLOON (BE) - Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh are architects who also engage in art. Commissioned by Z-33, a cultural centre in Hasselt, to design a spatial intervention, they came up with 'Reading Between the Lines', an (a)typical Flemish parish church of stacked steel. After several months' preparation in their studio, the see-through church, made up of six huge elements, was assembled in a single day.
Depending on one's perspective, the ten-metre-high church, composed of hundreds of alternating layers of one-centimetre-thick Cor-Ten steel and a nine-centimetre gap, is either solid or transparent. The closer one gets, the more the whole dissolves in the particular. The further away one stands, the more it looks like an archetypical parish church. The 'windows' in the church frame different views of the undulating landscape of the Belgian province of Limburg.
The result is at once familiar and alien. It refers to the emptying of the churches and indirectly asks the question: what is to be done with our religious heritage? But the really special thing about 'Reading Between the Lines' is how light and airy thirty tonnes of steel can be made to look.
Contemplation, Objects |