i, moment, circonstance qui convient – (favourable) opportunity
‘saisir l’occasion’ – making use of the chance
‘avoir l’occasion de faire… ‘ – having the opportunity to do something
ii, bonne affaire, offre spéciale – special offer, stroke of luck
‘c’est une occasion, achète-la’ – that’s a special offer, buy it
iii, d’occasion (= qui a déjà servi) – second-hand
‘une voiture d’occasion’ – a second-hand car
With “occasion” as the title of the workshop, the aim is both the on-site design and construction of prototypes, installations and interventions with waste or leftover materials for a temporally programme, as well as the hosting of a critical debate on the issue of the top-down master planning versus temporally use of waste lands.
The occasion in Ghent, the big opportunity for creative minds to do something, is presently undoubtedly located at the site of the Oude Dokken, an old industrial harbour area close to the historic centre situated between the train station of Ghent Dampoort and the De Muide district. In 2013, construction works for an enormous new city area will start off with the aim to (re)connect the harbour with the inner city. The masterplan, designed by OMA, foresees in the creation of 182.000m2 of housing, 37.000m2 office space, 5.000m2 shopping facilities, 16.000m2 leisure activities, 11.000m2 public program and 30.000m2 for park creation. Within the ‘Oude Dokken’ project, the east side of the Handelsdok, between the former Interbeton concrete factory and Hangar 13, is developed at first. In the mean time, the wasteland at this site will serve as a temporally socio-cultural area in the summer months, both a place of encounter for local residents and a free zone for artists and other creative minds.
After previously launching an idea competition for the temporally programming of the former Interbeton concrete factory, AGSOB (the Ghent city developing company) has recently put the DOK collective in charge of the management of the site. The DOK collective – grouping the theatre group Cirq (www.cirq.be), the cultural youth organisation Ladda and the music club Democrazy– guarantees the administration of the site: not only do they organize their own activities, they also give other organizations, local residents or companies the chance to take part in the project. A master plan that re-uses the main features of the site – a large storage hall for boats of over 2500m2, the canal, an abandoned concrete factory and a large open space with alternating grass and concrete ground surface – has been designed by DOK. With the implementation of this plan, DOK wants to transform the site from the beginning of July till the end of August into a lively place of encounter with concerts, expositions, movie projection, a bar, a summer hotel, a beach at the quayside, refreshing ideas, piracy and a bit of folly. Their leading strategies are stimulating interaction with the local residents, working with young people and developing mobile, temporary and guerrilla architecture with waste or leftover materials.
The occasion workshop underwrites this story: between the 4th and the 8th of April, we relocate staff and students to Hangar 13 at the site of the Oude Dokken in order to work a week in collaboration with the DOK collective on the design and realization of their temporally summer program. The aim of the workshop the on-site design and construction of prototypes, installations and interventions with waste or leftover materials, which can be used during the summer events organized by the DOK collective. A broader frame on the theme of the temporally use of waste lands is provided by a daily program of lectures and debates by both local and international guest speakers.
4 april 2011 – 8 april 2011
The aim of the workshop is the on-site design and construction of prototypes, installations and interventions with waste or leftover materials, which can be used during the summer events organized by the DOK collective. The ambition is the development of prototypes that show possibilities for a certain program or the construction of objects and installations that can actually be used during the summer events. The temporally program provided by DOK is subdivided into seven categories, namely ‘arena’, ‘foyer’, ‘bar’, ‘beach’, ‘garden’, ‘hotel’ and ‘hardware’. Different groups further elaborate each category. The leftover materials are by means of a distribution code divided among the different categories. Each category is guided by a team of professors and assistants, who are responsible for the day-to-day conduction of the groups. Next to these ‘solid’ teams, there are also ‘flexible’ assistants and externals that give feedback to the groups for only (half) a day. Each category has a fixed area of 195m2 (13m x 15m) in the hangar, provided by the existing grid structure. The plan below shows the position of the different categories in the hangar. Next to the workplace in the hangar, there are also tents with tables and chairs provided, which can be used by the groups as a place to design, discuss or store bags, clothes and equipment.
DOK plans little concerts and movie projections on the site, which necessitate an infrastructure with special features regarding wind and water load, acoustics, flexibility (store, stack,..) and mobility. Light structures could be an advantage.
DOK plans the layout of a foyer in the covered area of the hangar, providing among others a bar, a concert stage and an exhibition area. While designing objects for the foyer, it’s good to bear in mind a limited spatial impact, lightning suited for different activities and multifunctional infrastructure.
DOK foresees an open-air bar with the ability to bring local people together in the summer and have a drink and a chat alongside the canal while enjoying the sun. Because of the lack of social control on and around the site, mobile infrastructure will be important. It’s also good to take into account the water and wind load, as well as the ability to stack the different elements.
DOK foresees the beach as the central place of activity and encounter during their summer events. 1000m3 of sand will be spread alongside the canal for the construction of a variation on Bruxelles-les-Bains or Paris-Plage in the harbour of Ghent. The place will be well suited for sunbathing in the shading of some breezing palm trees with the bar within reach. Objects and installations could be designed to facilitate and decorate this very specific use.
On the site, an area will be provided for the layout of a public garden. This program, which could be linked to the beach, offers the opportunity to make the site both literally and figurative more colourful. It also opens up possibilities to make the site attractive for different age groups.
DOK wants to construct a youth or summer hotel on the site where the more adventurous folks can enjoy the possibility to spend the night in the harbour. Safety and the incorporation of different weather conditions in the design can be considered.
Apart from the program, the site is in dire need of infrastructure to accommodate the site and make it ready for use. A certain degree of robustness and the perception of the site from far-of must be bared in mind. The aim of the objects and installations could also be the decoration of the site.