Two-dimensional mathematics and colour in MWD's academy

Arroyo creates a dynamic façade in textured metal panels

by Malcolm Clark
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Academie MWD was inaugurated on 8th September in Dilbeek, Belgium, chronologically the latest work of Madrid architect Carlos Arroyo. It is a music, theatre and dance academy and represents the firm's completion of the project which won a competition in 2008.

The new building is located in the centre of Dilbeek, in the outskirts of Brussels, a challenging context due to varied environment in which it is located: the main square to the south with restaurants and nightclubs, to the west A. Hoppenbrouwers' brutalist building, to the north an area of natural protected forest and, finally, to the east a compact group of suburban villas with sloping roofs, as an archetypal image of the farm.

The problem was to reconcile the different situations and produce a quality building that provides a transition in this context. The result is a volume that recalls the distinctive signs of what surrounds it and which is characterized by a dynamic façade that creates an optical effect: if you walk towards the trees, you see the trees, if you walk in the opposite direction, you can see the colours of Hoppenbrouwers. Alfons Hoppenbrouwers, architect and painter, was a colour expert to which he dedicated a great deal of time. The façade of the new building, as it advances towards the work of Hoppenbrouwers, is based on one of his paintings.

A combination of two-dimensional mathematics and colour. Lines, dimensions, geometry, rhythm, colour and texture. These are also the ingredients of music, and many of his paintings are in fact interpretations of songs, like the one which makes up the façade of the Academy.” The remaining façades reproduce the same rhythms, but made with the use of metal panels with different textures, which reflect the sky and the forest.

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    Academie MWD Dilbeek 142

    Academie MWD Dilbeek

    Dilbeek / Belgium / 2012