Type: International competition for a cathedral
Size: -
Location: Antwerpen, BG
Team: Alexandre Carpentier
Date: May 2010

Due to historical reasons, the Cathedral of our Lady of Antwerpen stayed unfinished. The second tower absence became a routine in the city landscape. The fantastic gothic monument needed to keep its original design, as a celebration of this UNESCO World heritage site.

Instead of building a new heavy tower, this proposal focuses more on the pedestrian experience. Coming from the Suikerrui street, the reflect of the existing tower is directly visible; the mirrored fabric displays a new tower. But as soon as the point of view changes, it moves and disappears. Then the sky is reflected, giving back the absence on the facade. From another angle, it only shows its flat side, resuming the perception at one edge.

The thin membrane of double sided mylar fabric unfolds to heaven like a roll, thanks to the helium tank it covers at the top. The pureness of the soft and light structural system reveals the simplicity of the project which keeps the existing towers elegance. The original symbolic absence is preserved, while providing the facade its first definition.