The Academie MWD (Music, Words, Dance) in Dilbeek, Belgium opened this past fall. The Spanish firm Carlos Arroyo Architects faced the challenge of integrating the new building on the boundary of city and forest, with low-rise single-family homes and the imposing Westrand Cultural Center designed by Flemish architect Alfons Hoppenbrouwers in its immediate surroundings, all the while maintaining the delicate balance with the natural green landscape. Arroyo and his team came up with an ingenious solution: a dynamic façade that gives the optical illusion of changing as you move along the street. In one direction the reflection of the trees is seen, in the other a series of blues, grays and whites from the sky and the facing cultural center. Looked at straight on, the building becomes a burst of color, in homage to a painting by the aforementioned Alfons Hoppenbrouswers where he transcribed a piece of music by a Flemish composer from 1497 into colors and visual rhythms. The color continues on the floors of the interior spaces. The result is a combination of kinetic sculpture, contemporary architecture, and nature. Nicely done, especially for a music and arts institute.
Photos: Miguel de Guzman