In the beginning of the 19th century, this former Bruges residence (‘refuge’) of Saint Bavo’s Abbey, Ghent, and later a part of the Saint Trudo Abbey, was transformed into an almshouse for needy service personnel and the elderly. Nowadays, the almshouse is located very near the tourist centre of the city and is still home to people between sixty and eighty years of age. The typical Bruges houses in the city centre are linked together by two picturesque inner courtyards and by the silence of this isolated spot. The Ruimteveldwerk collective involved the residents and visitors in its participative project titled G.O.D. by linking this exceptional setting to an experimental trajectory. This interdisciplinary collective thus worked on an offline zone where, via spatial instruments, the sacred notion of silence is linked to the need for quiet in today’s the digital technological rat race.
Pieter Brosens (b. 1976, Antwerp, BE), Pieter Cloeckaert (b. 1984, Leuven, BE), Brecht Van Duppen and Sander Van Duppen (b. 1987, Leuven, BE) make up the team of Ruimteveldwerk (RVW). They regard the urban environment and its users as essentially interdisciplinary, paying particular attention to the place of vulnerable subgroups in the public environment.