042 In Flanders Fields Museum Ypres
Redevelopment of the Cloth Hall for the In Flanders Fields Museum, a visitor center for the Westhoek and a knowledge center for WWI
Procedure Open Call 1512
Client City Ypres
Surface 5000 m2
Date 2008 – 2012
The In Flanders Fields Project is facing an exciting challenge. The aim is to create a strong forum that bundles all information on Ypres, the Westhoek and WWI and makes it accessible. The three pillars – museum, visitor centre and knowledge centre – are brought together in a new and extensive way in a place that also symbolises this forum: the Cloth Hall in Ypres.
Since this programme is not new at this location, experience can already be drawn on to shape future plans. This exercise was done extensively by the different parties involved.
Research was carried out into the possible readings of the building and its history – before, during and after WWI – and various options for accommodating the current programme of requirements were weighed up against each other. The starting point was always the ‘temporariness’ of the current question and the aim was to deal with the building in a way that goes beyond the current wishes and requirements.
A symbiosis was sought between the preservation of the building’s strong qualities and the strict constraints imposed by the programme.
The final proposal is based on a number of simple punctual interventions, which are historically significant and respect the specific nature of the building as much as possible. The visitor is offered a new experience of the building, in which the presentation of the museum, scientific and recreational aspects of the history of WWI can be given maximum expression.