Universitaire Faculteiten Sint-Ignatius Antwerpen. Architects: Driesen Meersman Thomaes. Antwerp Photos: Sarah Blee
The Art Integration project for U.F.S.I.A. can be interpreted in two ways. Firstly, taken as a whole, it is an art installation which, through the use of colour and materials ( ranging from carpets and textiles to blinds and formica ) simultaneously provides a strong sense of identity and connects the various elements of the architectural scheme, room with room, building with building or inside with outside. The exterior scheme uses vernacular materials and sympathetic colour to highlight zones within the courtyard and performs the important function of linking the new campus with the existing surrounding buildings.
Secondly, the colours can be seen as a series of independant monochromes. I wanted to give the colour a certain degree of autonomy from the architecture and for this reason, occasionally, the colour does not ‘fit’ the walls exactly, it may stop short of the corner or continue past it only to stop abruptly. The areas of unplastered concrete which draw sudden attention to the fabric of the building, can also be seen as ‘colourless’ monochromes. There are unexpected elements of colour in the toilets and washrooms and the foyer of the main aula was deliberately left neutral in order to emphasise the contrast with the strong colours of the auditorium.