This project consists of the reconversion of the listed machinery buildings on the former coal mine site of Winterslag. The complex will house up to 5.000 m² of cultural infrastructure.
In the remaining and restored part of the building a design centre, a restaurant, a festivity hall and a touristic infrastructure for the experience of the mining history. In the arm pits of the old T-shaped building a new theatre hall, a smaller music room, several exhibition spaces and facility functions (a.o. offices) are developed. The new part integrates perfectly into the functional and formal logic of the existing complex.
The former nerve centre of the coal mine of Winterslag is being transformed into the new heart of C-MINE. The former compressor hall, the lift buildings and the ‘Barenzaal’ are reprogrammed and developed into a cultural centre, a design centre and a tourist visitors centre.
Restoration: The existing buildings form brick envelopes housing the different machines. Already trough their scale and their engineering they enforce respect. By opting for a light restoration they buildings will remain intact, as privileged witnesses from the mining age.
Extension: The industrial buildings present themselves as a monolith. Functionally they consist of a five meters high labyrinthine foundation base with on top a few majestical machine halls. This contrast between light and dark, high and low, spacious and covered up forms the biggest quality of these buildings. The extension is a resolute option to enhance this contrast and maintain it. The existing base is extended on to the whole available construction site. The new base in white concrete smoothly accommodates all new functions. Only the two new venue hall will pierce trough the base with their volume.
Cultural machines: The two new theatre venues are considered as cultural machines. Together with the lift buildings and the compressor hall they construct a new complex of machine halls on a big ‘piano nobile’. In between these cultural and industrial machine hall unique terrace arise, paved with the same red and white tiles as the existing interior floors of the machine halls. Like the machine halls the two theatre venues bathe in daylight and are equipped with steal blades for regulatable sun shading and darkening. The big venue (500 spectators) is equipped with a fixed slope while the small venue has a flat ground floor surface.
Program: The new complex has its main entrance on to the urban square in front. A big steal volume filters the public from this square into the foyer. Once inside one finds the tourist visitor centre. The foyer will function as huge distribution centre form which provides access to the other functions such as an exhibition space, the café and restaurant, the big and small venue, etc.
On top of this foyer the compressor hall is located which can function as an expansion tank for the design centre, the cultural centre, as well as for third parties. Form the compressor hall on the visitor can access the Mine Experience, the design centre, the café and restaurant and the new roof terraces - accompanied with a unique view on the slagheap.