Philipp Bleuel

meet, get to know, understand

Europe is the sum of many different nationalities and cultures. The idea to create a common Union to improve the relationship between those and to fortify common beliefs, especially in the global context, was and still is very reasonable. However the European Union, as the institution is conceived nowadays, failed in doing so. The European Union strongly influenced the development of the open marked, but most social aspects were neglected. The consequences of this approach can be seen in the results of many recent elections. In many countries all over the continent (e.g., Austria, Germany, Great Britain) a strong Anti-European feeling is rising. In today’s world this development is a frightening one.
An approach to counteract this development is to get to know each other better, in order to stimulate an interaction between persons of different points of view, origin and belief.

That is the idea of the new citizens house in the middle of Brussels. This new citizens house is to serve as a platform to meet the new, get to know the other and understand the different, without planing to do so. In order to achieve this vision the building provides spaces with an uncontrolled audience. People visiting the house are able to look at whatever is going on inside the different spaces provided. These spaces serve as a sort of stage to an open area surrounding them. This open area severs as main circulation space to actually bring the people together, as well as one of the spaces where interaction between the people can take place.

Interaction in order to get to know each other, is probably the only instrument we have to bring back an optimistic thinking about Europe and its great quality as sum of many different cultures.