Arcelor Pavilion in Esch-Sur-Alzette

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Arcelor Pavilion in Esch-Sur-Alzette
EXPLANATORY TEXT – Arcelor Pavilion in Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg 2006 Arcelor is known as one of the most important steel companies in the world. This project is seen as the symbol of the historic link between Arcelor and the town of Esch-sur-Alzette, the cradle of the steel industry in Luxembourg. The project was developed as a commemorative exhibition space for the centenary of the steel industry of the town. This emblematic building strives to reflect Arcelor’s own modernity, and witnesses in its construction the high technical performance of steel. The pavilion conveys the company’s will to improve, with its durable solutions, people’s quality of life. Located in the Centenary Park and lying on an important axis of the city, the pavilion is a cultural hub which provides a space for meetings and exchanges, and which vouches for the company’s involvement with the region’s future. It also promotes an updated vision of steel in a place which has a strong historical connection with the material. Since the end of the Centenary, the pavilion has continued being used as an art gallery. Our first idea was to lift it up from the earth in order to let the park pass underneath, allowing visual connections between different points of the park, and at the same time offering small public spaces under the main volume of the building. This was also a practical solution to deal with the damp ground. This first idea was transformed and elaborated by geometries coming from the invisible lines of relationship between the landscape and the city, the past and the future, the old railways, the chimneys, the fabrics, the small houses... the church with all its ornaments... the trees and their swinging shades, the rain, the grass and the wild roses…. We imagined the access ramp as a lifted path that would generate some patios, creating an ambiguous relationship between the inside and the outside. Each patio is covered with brilliant colours. They give a sense of vibration to people passing through them and the exhibition space. The colours used on the patios also appear on the façade of the pavilion. Colour is a power against gravity. It is a kind of lightness. So colour is a useful tool for awakening the senses and creating a playful feeling as seen in children.

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