Studio An Fonteyne

Livia Eggler

Calculated Uncertainty

Europe is in turmoil.

The world around us is changing quickly and often in contrast to what we wish and expect. Extreme nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise. We are told to be afraid – for our safety, our culture, our jobs, our freedoms, our comfort, our future.

But it is too late – it is too late for pessimism, now it is time for politics of hope.

By participating in Europe we can create a safe, sustainable and prosperous future. A Europe for us and by us.  Let us build a Europe where everyone counts, where we can all live together in peace, prosperity and solidarity under one roof.

To realize this goal, Europe must be strong, it must be given the competences and resources to properly carry out its tasks. To do so, it needs its citizens in full action and participation and the citizens need a house where they can act. Isn’t it true, that architecture as form, as object is always political, because every element in a building arises in, and embodies, a form of life and social relations?

So let us take a building to embody through its architecture an image of a Europe by its citizens to the world. But we shall not take any building, we shall take the Tour the Sablon. One might ask himself why? As Europe should preserve the valuable results it achieved, it should also recognize its shortcomings in the past and repair them and in the end it must take bold steps where new challenges demand a European approach. The Tour de Sablon shall be our manifesto to show these essences. We shall show that we can learn from our mistakes. We won’t commit a second assassination, like it happened to the Maison du People by Victor Horta, which preceded the Tour du Sablon, but we shall bring back this original pride towards this building as a building for the population. We shall continue writing this history and not erase it. Thus, we shall preserve the valuable elements of the Tour du Sablon, we shall bring back this admiration, like it once ruled over the Maison du Peuple, but we shall also recognize its lacks and improve them by transforming it. Finally the Tour de Sablon will be a bold step to show everyone that we, as European citizens do care about Europe and want a European citizens house to be able to work together, so we can help creating a Europe, which is there for all of us. Let as make the European pulse visible through this building!

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