Canopy by Explosion

Reset ‘t Kruithuis - An open design competition by the BAI ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

‘t Kruithuis is an old powder magazine just outside the city wall of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. It is part of the 17th century fortification of the city.
Today the magazine houses STOK - a foundation looking after the interests of professional artists. STOK currently employs ‘t Kruithuis for exposition and educational purposes.

The commission for the open design competition is straight forward: Reset ‘t Kruithuis - invent a new function, create a design to implement it and re-use the complex by doing so...

Top and center: ‘t Kruithuis and her entrance as seen from the surrounding park
Bottom: the courtyard in the heart of the hexagonal buidling

‘T kruithuis is situated outside the city wall and averted from the city. Therefore people won’t accidentally pass by while strolling through the center of town. When people visit the compound they do it intentionally. Not a surprise considering the original purpose of the complex - a powder house.
Although the former magazine is visible from several roads when approaching the city it is hardly noticed due to it’s camouflaging environment.
My intervention is aimed at refining these aspects.

First there are a view hazards to be taken. A new function has to be formulated.
But why?
STOK seems perfectly in place and gives young artist in the region the possibility to expose. It is even affiliated to the Stedelijk Museum ‘s Hertogenbosch...

The only complication seems to be the shortage of visitors due to the lack of public exposure.
Why should a foundation like STOK be abandoned when there are plenty of possibilities to revive it?

Than there is the preservation part...
Nowadays there is a lot of debate about preserving buildings, sites - even regions. Preservation stops progression - that’s for certain. Take a look the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp. It could never have been built if the former chapel was a preserved building, part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It would have never been built if the former chapel wasn’t destroyed.

So here we stand: ‘T Kruithuis a building only found by people who know where to look for it. A building whose original purpose is forgotten.
It is time to raise awareness to the habitants and visitors of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. It is time to revive the complex and its STO(c)K.

The Big Bang - the origin of the canopy - the recognition of the heritage

The canopy - an ‘ash cloud’ - as a result of a powder explosion hovers above the courtyard. It attracts the attention of anyone whose line of sight is struck. The helium-filled balloons can rise and decline at anytime to reach a larger audience. It serves as a beacon and advertisement for the to be developed activities in and around the complex.
The surrounding park will be equipped with public features like barbecues, table tennis table’s, lounge set’s, picnic tables, monkey bars, seesaws etc.
The elements - as debris by the explosion - enhances the public activity in and around ‘t Kruithuis.
A social (inter)active park and public garden will arise for both inhabitants and visitor’s of the city.

By rising the canopy a large audience is reached - more lines of sight will be struck

The canopy as advertisement - seen from within the park as well as the center of town

The cosy backyard-ambiance is a clear antithesis to the Bosche Broek. A wide wetland area at the south side of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

My reset and re-identification of ‘t Kruithuis does not so much affect the building itself but focuses on its social environment.

Preserving the building together with her current role as an exhibition space - while enclosing a view elements by small ways and means - increases the social, economic and environmental value of the compound as well as the city.

The maquette at the exposition in the townhall of ‘s-Hertogenbosch

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