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SYNUA, Armoured Pivot Door
The site of the Redemptorist priests of Ghent originally consisted of a monastery, a church and large grounds. For this church located in Belgium, Synua doors were chosen, built into and scattered around the huge priestly property comprising 1.8 hectares. The brothers decided to transform this place, opening it to the outside world (as opposed to the principles of closed monasteries) with an innovative project in mind.
The project includes 490 student rooms, flats, prayer rooms for priests, accommodation for the homeless, workshops, shops, a training centre and a celebration centre. All organised along a new public pedestrian street surrounded by parks and green areas.
The heart of the site, where the training centre is located, is conceived in an innovative way. It is not just a church but a meeting space. A terrace and a cafeteria welcome visitors while other meeting rooms complete the education centre. In this framework, visibility and legibility become essential from both a site and building perspective.
The celebration space is considered, by the priests themselves, the pearl of the project. This image has been realised through a special ceramic tile covering with pearly, changing reflections.
This uninterrupted cladding marks the volume of the church and continues over the entrance to the interior space dedicated to celebrations. The elegant, design-oriented but at the same time functional and practical furnishings find a meeting point between aesthetic and technical constraints.