The origin of our meat doesn’t seem to interest us any longer. Meat production companies are meaninglessly kept from society in industrial patchworks. Once inside these companies, where I had the chance of working trough several months, there is a mini-universe of local workers taking care of craft processes. On a small scale, without being pretentious.
There’s a big risk in over-dimensioning. In Asia, our consumption based society is starting to feel its own limits. Anti-social and anti-sensorial working conditions are shaping the future of a capitalistic mania. Think about the illustrations of Edward Burtynsky. Trying to integrate these activities back in an urban environment, means merging architecture and social issues in a contemporary society. Moral distance between food and man needs to be reduced.
The site ‘cattle’ in Sint-Truiden, once a place of vegetable gardens and livestock fair, is characterized by a garden wall, a human intervention, which serves as a physical boundary. A duplication of the garden wall creates a mini-universe as an in-between. An occasional break in these walls allows spaces to communicate.
A meat processing company lies in this mini-universe, enclosed by public facilities, including corporate eating facilities and a research center. The autonomous character fades as wall openings appears. The reorganization of the production is grafted onto six paternoster lifts that are used for meat maturing in refrigerators. A minor intervention that reduces land use and avoids sisyphean tasks for local workers. It physically links meat trough condensed windows.
Eleven caps, by analogy ‘smoked’ to shou-sugi-ban, form an archetypal image above the garden wall.
A new sobriety.
Scaling is the first form of contemplation. Architecture needs a new sobriety. Distillation of beauty and emotion of what has already been given. The basic drawings are therefore the starting point of a spatial and sensorial quest of memories.