My final project of my first year of engineering and architecture was a pavilion about an event of WW1. This was to celebrate the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. We needed to find a place in Belgium with a story that resonated with us and to imagine a small museum in that place with small lodgings for the curator of the museum.
I was drawn to Dinant, a gorgeous city, and to a massacre that happened there, where 674 citizens got shot by the germans on the 23rd of August 1914, because the French army had demolished the bridge to slow the germans down. Amongst those were some of my family members, so it was a personal story for me as well.
Dinant has very rocky and steep hillsides, surrounding the water, so apparently the shots fired were echoing throughout the valley and people could hear it for miles. I therefore imagined a sort of dark tunnel in which people would experience something similar, hearing the echoing shots and seeing the names of the dead citizens appear on the floor, the walls and the ceiling. Once they got out of that tunnel, they would come outside, into the light, and see the new bridge down below.
As for the curator’s lodgings, I put it above the museum, in a sort of tower, which could indicate from afar that the museum was there, like a lighthouse or a clock tower. And the space between this new building and the one in front of it would create a square for people to meet and to organise activities.