THE EXPANSION OF A PRE-EXISTENCE MARKED BY PERCEPTION AND EXPERIENCE
Extension of the Z33 Art Gallery in Hasselt, Belgium
Francesca Torzo architetto
The building designed by Francesca Torzo for the art gallery Z33 completes a triangular block framing a hidden garden, between a housing complex and the former beguinage in Hasselt, about one hour from Bruxelles. The ancient building was realized in the 18th century to house a congregation of lay sisters, then it was partially destroyed by the bombing in 1944 and finally reconstructed and reallocated as a cultural center in 1958. In 2011, the administration in this center for contemporary art, design and architecture organized a design competition for its restoration and expansion, won by Francesca Torzo. The new building, perpendicular to the original block, is placed along the street that surrounds the urban agglomeration, with a blind façade about 60 meters long. Its ancient, monumental appearance is enhanced by the complete lack of openings toward the city; instead, modular windows, overlooking each other, have been realized in the internal courtyard.