The historical site and the significant atmosphere of the former Jenever brewery presented a great merit for the museum. The remodeling of the unique architecture was hence kept to a bare minimum and was solely carried out to guaranty a functional accessibility and to preserve the heritage value of the building. One could describe the overall style of the architecture as “Flemish rural”; characterized by heavy wooden trusses and an abundance of crude brickwork. Elements that amount to a sturdy and rather dark setting for a new exhibition - not exactly the generic white cubes one often encounters.
Therefore the scenography introduced a new lightness within the building and tried to negotiate an interesting balance between both bodies. Slender and gracile white structures were positioned between the bulky beams. A juxtaposition that resulted in a continuous interplay between dark and light, solid and slim, old and new. The aim of this strategy was to create a dialogue between the two entities, and by doing so, to incorporate the building into the exposition.
The old brewery was embraced in the same way as the collection itself. Framed in white structures, it helps telling the intriguing story of this unique spirit. Throughout the exposition this approach translated in different setups, of which the mirroring metabolism box probably is the most surprising. Positioned askew the grid of columns it creates a vertiginous effect, subtly mimicking the effect of alcohol on our perception. On the floor beneath a construction of steel structures form a giant wheel, displaying the different flavors and spices used in the brewing process. Here visitors can explore their own preferences before ordering a Jenever - at last - to top off their visit in style.
Location: BE, Hasselt
Client: Muncipality of Hasselt
Surface: 1200 sqm
Team: Jasper Stevens, Thomas Roelandts
Project team: MADOC, Superdamned, Koen Bruyneel, Ineke Wellens
Photos: Bart Kiggen