A living factory for Dudelange
MELTING POT is making hidden spaces of Luxembourg's unknown industrial history accessible and brings public life to the sites. Cultural heritage not only needs architectural transformation but also a smart community orientated program. This program is inspired by the history of the site and the values it has brought over the years.
Most of the former steel industries are vacant and on the verge of demolition and redevelopment. This project is saving and reactivating cultural heritage and making the values visible. Next to the architectural values, the social values play an important role. The steel factories did not only provide employment for the inhabitants, they also had a very social side. This part of the factory should be brought back. The assignment is to design an ensemble of spaces which works like a lively public living room for the city. A multi-use leisure center.
The architecture finds full and complete expression in the creation of spatial scenarios, a complete focus on program which allows form to follow the needs of the inhabitants. The user is in the center of the design, the goal is to create cultural exchange and make space for social interaction reaching the broadest possible audience.
It is a space without clearly defined functions, form and meaning, a space that is at the same time indispensable. Melting pot forms a place where one can go with no particular goal in mind. Just see what is happening and where one can or want to join. One can be active and passive at the same place. It is a place for everyone. A place where everyone has the feeling of home. A heart for the new district based on the history of the site and its workers.
A collection of interventions creates the melting pot. They work together as a place of exchange and leisure. While listening to the existing buildings their new purposes are found. Adapting the existing structures was as important as working out the right program to activate the area. It can be seen as a living factory, relating to its past and building up its present after being abandoned for many years. The different interventions are merging the spaces together.
Melting pot emphasises the importance of collective memory and cultural heritage. The comparison with a living room refers to the freedom of this space. It is the room in a home where everything comes together and everything can happen. Visitors have the freedom of choice where they want to be and what they want to do. The ensemble forms the key position between the new neighbourhood and the city. It was clear that it had to be a public place for the broadest possible audience, to entice people to enjoy culture and leisure and to participate in creating it.
The design and program aims to give a new meaning to the place, not forgetting the origin and the history of the site. Activation is needed to preserve the national steel heritage of Luxembourg.
With the interventions, melting pot turns into the social connector, the steel factory once used to be. Transforming our built heritage has the power to change lives, communities, neighbourhoods and cities.
Graduation date: 16 September 2021
Graduation Committee: Bart Bulters (mentor), Milad Pallesh, Gert-Jan Wisse
Additional members for the exam: Gianni Cito, Marlies Boterman