Alexia Di Carlantonio

Alexia Di Carlantonio

En Golette. ULg Liège (Germany)

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The village of Gesves is situated in the Condroz, the very rugged landscape separates the village into three areas. Interaction between these different zones is made difficult, not only because of the landscape but also due to the impenetrable park and the main road passing through. How do we reunite the village? To answer this question, we worked with the will to redefine Gesves’ identity. By opening the park and by densifying the village’s historic and administrative centres, with housing and functions we were able to create a relation between the different entities.

The project is located between the church and the castle of Gesves, on a long and thin plot. The idea was to bring clarity to the junction near the castle which seems completely detached from the rest of the village. By building in this area, we wanted to create a link between the two. The observation tower gives the opportunity to rise up to observe and understand the complex and hilly landscape of Gesves.

The idea of clearing a large area by using a large retaining wall is an answer to the terrains’ steepness. This wall helps define the plot’s limits and supports the tower. The space protected by the wall is structured by two light volumes. By playing with transparency, they create different courtyards and patios.

The need to conceive a project involving lively public activities in the surroundings of the castle comes from the will to develop the park. The observation tower is entirely public, unlike the rest of the project which stays private. The program works with the activities relocated in park, welcoming kids and youth groups, creating a space for gatherings, learning and discovery in Gesves.

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