2018 Léon Nypels - KWARTIER VIER
KWARTIER VIER
Architecture and the logic of creation

The former hospital of the state mental asylum in Oud-Rekem
(Belgium) has been out of use for the past thirty years. Since,
the building has been abandoned, with all the consequences that
come with it. The contradiction between the decay and at the same
time its beauty make this abandoned location in the centre of the
village very mystical. Other buildings belonging to the former
asylum have been repurposed in the meantime. The former hospital
is a building that still leaves traces of the emotionally loaded
history of this location.
This element is the foundation for a way of renovation which can
be described as “building with space for decay”. By analogy with
the work of an archaeologist, the design for the reuse of the
hospital reveals its history. After which new layers are added. To
make a clean statement all new layers are made out of one
material which will react differently to its surroundings both on
the inside and outside of the building. Which results in a new
spacious palimpsest.

- Léon Nypels

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