The Arch

Zomerwerf Genk

A socio-circular gate to technology!

This summer we will provide a living support structure, on top of a former mining site in Genk, for a social- and experimental laboratory.
The era of mining and the presence of the company Ford have given strong identities to the city of Genk. Constructlab intervenes in a moment where the search for a new strong identity permits an experimentation and a reflection on visions of the future.

A living support structure will be conceived to welcome the public; a support structure is a building tool that stabilises a construction during its installation, also used in the mines to create the deepest tunnels. In the same sense it can be applied metaphorically as a social, artistic and community-shaping tool to be a support and catalyst in a first phase of appropriation.

In connection to the research activities already happening and to be established at Thor Park, we propose an applied research laboratory that is situated somewhere between artistic experimentation and public research. It positions itself as a complementary approach to academic scientific models, to deal with new technologies in an accessible and associative way.

These moments will be captured in a tangible object, a generic brick that we will design and make together from waste materials. The brick as a memory of our time together at Thor Park will be the building stone for the new entrance-gate to the park, but also a new material that can enter into the existing Belgian brick market.

To try to produce a monumental arch as a result from this collective effort is like wondering physically, if now could be a moment of paradigm shift from the faith in efficiency and productivity to a smaller, transparent production in the city that incorporates deviation and allows change.