Mons - Congress Centre (Daniel Libeskind)
The team of Studio Daniel Libeskind, H2A architects, Ney & Partners and the contractor CIT Blaton, win the design and build competition for a new Congress Centre in Mons (B).
With this selection out of eight competitor designs, Studio Daniel Libeskind will realise their first building in Belgium. This project, combined with the new high-speed train station designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, will constitute the starting point for the redevelopment of over 500.000 m² of land formerly belonging to the Belgian Railways. The new urban zone will be an extension to the city of Mons, which will be the European Capital of Culture in 2015.
Daniel Libeskind (born 1946) is an American architect with Polish origins. He became famous for his utopian designs on paper, which stimulated architectural discourse due to their symbolic and philosophical inspirations. It is only since early 2000 that his complex designs started to be constructed. The Jewish Museum in Berlin (1989-2011) was a turning point is his career and is considered one of the most important cultural landmarks recently built. He is also the architect in charge of the master plan of the World Trade Center in New York.
Located between the historic center and the Great Meadows area, the future Convention Center is a lever leading to the urban development of Mons and includes 3 theaters with seating up to 800. By creating a visual link with the Belfry, the building is fully integrated into the network of public and cultural center. Visible from the center, it is a landmark for the development of the City of Mons.
For the facades, open cladding is used giving the building a light and textured appearance. The lower walls are clad with vertical slats of unfinished robinia wood responding to the adjacent natural park. The upper ribbon walls are clad with vertical bands of anodized aluminum following the curve of the wall. Apart from the glazed corner, few openings are visible in the ribbon walls. In front of windows the slats are rotated allowing for daylight and views while maintaining the integrity of the form. The surfaces around the building are polished earth colored concrete, in which bands of Belgium blue stone are inserted. The bands form an irregular pattern that is continued into the building.
The project is currently under construction.