Norell Rodhe Filip Dujardin liggend
Norell/Rodhe

Raamland

Norell/Rodhe's Raamland, situated between Oostmeers and Westmeers, takes the form of a new community garden. The Swedish architecture firm has redeveloped the square in Sint-Obrechtsstraat and transformed it into an exciting and inspirational meeting place.

Location
Open
10:00 – 18:00

Swedish architecture firm Norell/Rodhe’s new community garden – Raamland – is located between East- and Westmeers. They have transformed an existing square in Sint-Obrechtsstraat into an inspirational and exciting meeting place.

The site’s history was a starting point: it was privately owned and enclosed by a brick wall until the 1970s. Raamland unfolds as a place for (re)discovery. Norell/Rodhe have rid the sleepy square of its urban infrastructure and filled it with newly designed elements that merge the site’s history with its future potential.

The installation’s name alludes to the history of De Meers, a marshy urban area that remained uninhabitable until the 17th century. As a result, it was mainly used as a ground on which to locate the wooden frames, or raamen, on which Flemish cloth was hung to dry.

Daniel Norell and Einar Rodhe have introduced a new and contemporary framework for the site, which they have constructed from a mix of standard components and unique finds. The work is largely composed of second-hand materials, harvested by the architects from reclamation businesses, container parks, construction sites and local pass-it-on shops. Visitors will spot fragments of demolished mansions and villas in the installation, not to mention parts of the old city archive and even a discotheque.

By stripping these construction materials of their original function and reusing them as new components, Norell/Rodhe write an alternative narrative that incrementally reveals itself to the visitor. A temporary plywood wall on the street side leads the visitor inwards, past a pavilion that oscillates between a construction site and a domestic interior. The once tightly walled garden has been transformed into a lush patch of greenery, replete with local vegetables, herbs, berries and shrubs. It invites visitors to linger on the square, to read a book, have a bite to eat or, if they feel like it, roll up their sleeves and get busy.

Raamland is an assemblage of materials and stories. It is a testing ground for re(re)valuation and an investigation into how we can deal with material flows differently in the future. It approaches architecture as a living organism, as something that gradually changes shape, together with its wider environment: the city.

With support from Architectuuraterlier Dertien12.

Portret Daniel Norell en Einar Rodhe Norell Rodhe
© Norell/Rodhe

Daniel Norell (b. 1973, Stockholm, SE) and Einar Rodhe (b. 1982, Uppsala, SE) established Norell/Rodhe in 2012. The Stockholm-based architecture practice views its work as a mediation between environment and user, or between the historical and contemporary, wherein an existing context shapes or contributes to a new one.

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