Netwerk Aalst rebuilds

together with ectv architecten

Netwerk Aalst has a magnificent building - a former textile factory on the right bank of the Dender, within walking distance of Aalst train station, and centrally located in an urban development area. In 2017, in order to be able to serve our visitors even better, we appointed the architectural firm Czvek Rigby to investigate what could be improved in our building.

This preliminary study revealed some problems of our current infrastructure: due to our evolved artistic programme, our building in its current state is inefficient, difficult to read, and not appealing to visitors.

Netwerk Aalst could benefit from a better internal circulation, an optimisation of accessibility, and a sustainable improvement of the infrastructure.

Thanks to the support of Foci (in Dutch: Fonds Culturele Infrastructuur) we could really get started in September 2018, as we appointed ectv architecten (Els Claessens and Tania Vandenbussche) for the renovation.

In addition to our visual arts department, we will also building a fully-fledged, independent film house, where we can offer more films. We'll refresh our café, and move it to another location in our building, in order to open up to the city of Aalst. We aim to have an adapted circulation that allows us to make the building more easily available to local organisations.

Our goal remains for Netwerk Aalst to be an accessible, public place in Aalst, where people meet to talk to each other, enjoy and think about art, have a coffee, and watch a film. Furthermore, we are an open house and host schools, organisations and other local associations and their workshops, receptions, debates or other projects.

About ectv

The collaboration between Els Claessens and Tania Vandenbussche started in 1997. After their studies, both followed up their education with Marie-José Van Hee architects and Robbrecht and Daem architects.

Together with employees and colleagues, Els Claessens and Tania Vandenbussche love to work on various assignments of various scales and with different programmes: both small strategic interventions and iconic buildings, both private and public assignments. For Tania and Els, mastery in the field of architecture is shown above all in the plan

A masterly plan is a plan that works, functions, organises, connects, surprises and charms. The plan connect making and thinking, imagining and imagining.