Flemish Master architect moves into Ravenstein Gallery

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The Ravenstein Gallery, which links the Central Station with the Palace of Fine Arts PSK, sees 17,000 passers-by each day. Until 2006 the building, built in 1958 and designed by Alexis and Philippe Dumont, was a bit rundown. Dingy shops and dark cafés stood side by side and created a slightly grubby atmosphere. Five years ago things changed for the better when the galery received a face lift. Flemish Master architect Peter Swinnen and his team have recently moved into the gallery. The studio takes up one arch of the central rotunda, with seven bays forming an elongated display window. Next to the spiral staircase pedestrians make their way to their offices on the next floor, to a lunch concert in the Palace for Fine Arts or further up to the Warande Park. The circuit links the lower city with the upper city and this collective space provides a joint venue for public and cultural functions and office space. A true microcosm. “It’s a gesture to invite dynamic into this iconic building,” says Swinnen. “It is also a platform where the Flemish government can showcase its efforts towards creating quality spaces.” Swinnen’s team plans to entertain passers-by with activities and architectural displays, exhibiting architectural drawings and plans. They also hope to eventually host installation artists and video artists at their studio, even though the studio is also used as a space for workshops. “The studio will become an open field,” says Swinnen. “We can empty it and create one long space, or we can compartmentalise it and fill it with programming.”

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