Redolent of Roman methods, Francesca Torzo completed the addition to the Z33 House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt, Belgium.
The historic complex of Hasselt beguinage resembles an island in the urban fabric: the garden is enclosed by a wall of inhomogeneous brick buildings, to which the house for art belongs. It is a place of rest, with a different sound from the bustling city center.
Z33 is one building made of two: the existing museum from 1958 and the extension. The new building form responds to the context: towards the city it folds to accompany the street walkway; towards the garden it folds to welcome the garden in a niche, echoing the facade of the XIX century neighboring Gin factory.
The new building reinterprets the expression of the XVIII century buildings, disposing an almost blind wall towards the street and displaying a score of windows towards the garden, and alike the 1958 museum it defines two levels for the public, where the level of entrance area blends the street level with the exhibition ground floor, raised up of 1 meter, and the garden level.
The unit of measure of the context is the brick, as the rumble brick is the unit of Z33. The brick wall protects the quietness of the house for art and of the garden; it also acts as a background for the life of the city, for the shadows of walking people, of trees and urban lights.