The Meesterproef (Master Class) challenges public principals to offer young designers and artists a first public commission. Under the supervision of a project director appointed by the Vlaams Bouwmeester (Flemish Government Architect), the most innovative and fresh solutions can also be realized. This year’s edition (2017) focused on the theme of ‘Heritage and Reconversion’.
Out of 112 participants, 18 were selected to compete on six different sites in a one week design assignment. At the opening of the ‘Festival van de Architectuur’, the collaboration of Philippe Breels (a2o), Jona Moereels (GAFPA) and Bram Denkens (Poot Architectuur) was announced as the laureate for the site of Wervik.
Their design shows a solution for the reconversion and extension of the former convent site into an inclusive housing site. A project in which people, with or without mental disabilities, live together, stimulating the social integration of the former. Clever re-use and additions along the walled edges safeguard a lush convent garden as social nature and raise the project’s visibility towards the city. In a next phase the convent’s chapel will be converted into a communal space for both the inhabitants and the general public.