Cutting the context.

a study by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

In the tranquil Flemish village of Hooglede, located in the scarred landscape that was once a battleground of the First World War, architects Gijs Van Vaerenbergh have created ‘Six Vaults’, a new entrance pavilion for a German war cemetery. In a series of stills, photographer Piet-Albert Goethals frames the spatial qualities of the pavilion. His images bring a clarity to the complexity of this dynamic structure. What’s more, clarity and complexity are not the only unexpected opposites at play here. The pavilion looks both sacred and playful, rough and refined and one could spend some time contemplating whether it is art, architecture, or both.

Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh’s practice creates work that is riddled with double meanings. Their projects leave room for interpretation and explore the space between architecture and art. They describe the acts of drawing, cutting, bending, assembling, and mirroring as crucial interventions to their thinking. It allows them to start the design process in a boundless way. The resulting structures and solutions they create, are clear and logical, and shed new light on what we already know.

Classical shapes, like the roman arch, feature in previous work by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh and at the Six Vaults pavilion they appear again. The sculptural structure is the result of a process that involved cutting arches from a solid volume. Here, what visitors encounter is an interplay of views that frames the concrete structure itself as well as its surroundings.