During the 19th and 20th centuries, Genk was an extension of the powerful Ruhr Valley area, and this past has left its mark in the form of numerous vestiges of industry, prominent among which is this coal mining complex turned into a cultural center where – thanks to the preservation of original structures, materials, and atmospheres – the austere, diaphanous character of the old industrial site can still be appreciated. Restoration work was limited to the indispensable. The machinery pavilion and the steel tower lording over the place were kept as they were, and the only alteration was the addition of two pavilions of concrete to complete the cultural program and create a new system of internal circulation elements leading to the auditorium, concert hall, and exhibition galleries. To give unity to the complex, the building’s original floor, presenting a checkerboard of ceramic tiles, stretches on outside to cover a new public plaza which unexpectedly comes across as being domestic in nature.
C-Mine, dotación cultural Cultural Center, Genk (Belgium).
City of Genk.