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Performing Space in Maastricht

16. Juni 2016 | von

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For about two weeks I took part in an interesting study, and I think due to its concept (and ok, its result), it worth being shared here. We were 5 students from the RWTH and we got a glass container placed in a park in Maastricht, the Charles Eyck Park, and our task was to develop an analysis of the area during one week. The outcome of our analysis would be used as source and inspiration form an artist who would develop a performance that would take part in the park.

The study is called Performing Space, since it’s all about we architect and urban planner students to understand the space and let us be performed by the space; and other way round, the space be performed and part of the performance developed by the artist. He by the way is Benjamin Vandewalle, a choreographer and works mostly with contemporary dance and the public space. And this whole event/study was organized and promoted by the Van Eyck Institut and the Bonnefantenmuseum, both in Maastricht.

 

Our study started from the macro – how the city of Maastricht is organized and formed. To then make closing ups – understand the riverside where the park is located, to then learn about the neighborhood and only then analyze the park, its agents, influences, users, activities, buildings in the surroundings, etc. The neighborhood, by the way, is super interesting: it’s called Ceramique, a former porcelain factory. In the beginning of the last century its activities were ceased, and the huge industrial glebe was left unused. One reason is that it was simply too big for somebody to buy it, and secondly the soil was sadly way too polluted, making its purchase much more expensive. So this central ground was left for decades abandoned as a ghost in the city. Only in the 60es through a public and private association it was possible for the city to buy the whole glebe. From this on a important planner has taken charge to design an entirely new neighborhood pretty central in the city, and many famous architects took part in designing its buildings. Although so many experts were involved in this project, somehow the result of this design is not the most successful. Maybe because of its scale and large distances, and maybe because the rental average is very high, but somehow the neighborhood lacks this liveliness that makes the public spaces so interesting and attractive. Specially if you compare with the Wick, the next closest neighborhood of Ceramique.

 

Long story short, I won’t present our analysis and results, because you would be bored. Instead I share some pictures of the Park, our Glass cube, the analysis presentation, that we shaped in form of a Exhibition and also some experiences of performing the space together with the artist, Benjamin Vandewalle. Yet there is only one PS to add: the weather during that week was awful, it rained strongly everyday, the whole time; so for us, the park was always empty and unsuccessful; on Friday, the second but last day of work, we had a beautiful sunny day, and so we actually discovered that the park is amazing and that the people from Maastricht super love there! hehe, and so we changed our whole analysis…. J

 

this is the Facebook page for those who want to read and sneak more in this project:

https://www.facebook.com/weareperformingspace/?fref=ts

 

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