For two seasons deSingel and the VAi (Flemish Architecture Institute) are offering eight young architectural firms a platform on which to present their ideas on architecture, urban planning and landscape design.
The architects have been commissioned to provide design-based solutions to pressing social issues and intellectually challenging questions.
At the start of the century Caroline Lateur and Stefanie Everaert worked for Maarten Van Severen and in 2005 started their own firm. Their early work shows craftsmanship and a maximum spatial impact. In their conversions and custom-made furniture they combine tactility, experimentation and a surprising use of colour.
We asked the interior designers to design a local mosque in which a Muslim community of five hundred people could organise its daily social and religious life. The starting point is the nineteenth-century inner area of a medium-sized Flemish city. The challenge lies in creating a serene transition from the chaotic urban planning conditions to a place of ritual. At the same time this is a very complex interior assignment, since prayer, sermons and ritual washing, as well as cooking, eating, festivities, study and play are all part of the traditional use of a mosque. How can these cultural values be expressed in architecture and a universal, new microcosm be created?