Ralph Geelkens

Ralph Geelkens

C H O R A. Academie van de Bouwkunst (The Netherlands)

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Design for a Southern Architectural School in the Netherlands

The project ‘ Chora ’ is firstly a plea for differentiation between the architectural educations in the Netherlands based on geografical and cultural conditions and international orientations. This is crucial for the Academy of Maastricht. The Academy is proposed as an institute that searches for an analogy with the local context, actively participates in this context en explicitly participates the public in questions on architecture.

The project anticipates on the alterating role of the architect which is translated into the curriculum and program. Besides being responsible for the design of the building the architect is more and more an ‘intendent’ in processes of the social organism.
The graduation project speeks of ‘architecture’ as an integral conception; specialisms as town-planning, landscape design, etc. are interpreted as differentiations of an encapsulated thinking.

The authentic condition of the Akademeia of Athens als site, open space for encounter of the equaly minded turned out to be inspiring for the disclosure of the project. The levels of meaning in relation to the conception ‘Chora’ were the guidelines for the development of the architectural program.

The location of the Academy is situated in the heart of Maastricht, interweaved with the existing networks. The specific location is intercalated in a strategy for dealing with isolated areas behind building blocks and the qualities of these ‘residues’.

The chosen territory used to be an industrial environment; in the project this character of production place is being maintained, and the intention of the Chora – encounter, transition, perception – is configurated into an open but precise play of volumes, sequences, transitions of light and last but not least materials.

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