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Building of the General Management of Social Affairs and Health (Jambes)

THE BUILDING OF THE GENERAL MANAGEMENT OF SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND HEALTH
 

Following its policy of implanting works of art in the public buildings it erects, the young Walloon Region is launching - through its Arts Commission, a contest relating to the conversion of the entrance hall of the building meant for the General Management of Social Services and Health (DGASS), in Jambes (Namur) at the beginning of the year 1995. Conceived by Alain Nokerman, an architect from Charleroi, this building opens with two aisles around a central core situated at the corner of the two streets. Its ground floor (avenue Bovesse) gives way to an interior porch cut up by six regular bays ; the latter made up of four round arches and one pointed arch.

Because of the crampedness of the place, the integration programme offered few possibilities to the artists approached. However, the visual artist and musician from Liège Jean-Pierre Husquinet, proposed an integration ("Jamie"), which reconciles music with colour, according to his originalscheme of association.

 


© Transit photo

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Pierre Husquinet : The intimate ? Jamie ?
 

Confronted with a suffocating space although it is a reception hall, the artist from Liège Jean-Pierre Husquinet has preferred to respect the configuration, rather than creating a deceiving impression of it, by means of decorative artifices (mirrors, wall paintings, etc.). He has stressed the intimate atmosphere which the architectural layout generates by hanging three coloured cords. These are equivalent to the three parts (twelve times each) of a musical composition entitled "Jamie", according to an original system he has worked out, associating music and colour. Interested members of the public can even listen to the piece, on demand. A fourth part is represented on the ground by a mosaic line which originates from outside : it is an invitation to come in, an accompaniment for those who go to the seat of the DGASS (The General Management of Social Services and Health).

The cords go up and down through the hall and, in a contradictory movement, give it the right time (they do not betray its crampedness). However, they promise the possibility of its mental expansion. Their sculptural presence, the visual impact of their colourings and the melodious rhythm of the musical composition transform this hall in a porous space from which emerge the silent voices of the imaginaries to which they converge.

The prevailing shade of the walls and the ceilings, a dark midnight blue, suggests an atmosphere of relaxation, safety, even of a protecting cocoon. Numerous halogen lights, inlaid in the ceiling in a disparate way, recall the celestial vault and the starlit firmament such as it may be perceived on a summer night. The random placement of the lights is a delicate reply to the spatial tension induced by the cords. Under the influence of this slow restful music and the atmosphere of smoothness suggested by the interior, the administrative hall has been imperceptibly transformed into a space of conviviality and contemplation. Waiting is no longer laborious, but it passes at the harmonious rhythm of the coloured chords.

 


© Transit photo

 



© Transit photo

 

 

 


© Transit photo

 



© Transit photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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