Jan de Vylder; Inge Vinck; Jo Taillieu
Two particular components of our manifesto resonate deeply with the work of architecten de Vylder Vinck Taillieu. The first is: “FREESPACE encourages reviewing ways of thinking, new ways of seeing the world, of inventing solutions where architecture provides for the well-being and dignity of each citizen of this fragile planet”. The second is: “FREESPACE can be a space for opportunity, a democratic space, un-programmed and free for uses not yet conceived”. The project which de Vylder Vinck Taillieu present in this Biennale Architettura is CARITAS, the intervention in an old psychiatric clinic in Melle, Belgium, where originally each department had its own villa, forming a unique place united by its particular style of architecture. Over the years, buildings were demolished, destroying the composition of this campus. A new director stopped the process of demolition, initiating an architectural competition. Luckily, it was won by de Vylder Vinck Taillieu and with their architectural intelligence, skill and humanity take the story of this place forward from that point. They asked a pivotal question: What do you do with a half-demolished building? The radical free strategic thinking employed by these architects lead to a completely unexpected and wonderful solution, where the past and the present, tactile materiality and ephemeral memory intertwine.