In order to respond to the Guillemins Station, the work of Catalan architect Santiago Calatrava, and which is located at the end of an axis linking it to Médiacité, it was essential to give Médiacité a strong architectural character. Based on an overall plan and first sketches by the architectural bureaux of Chapman Taylor (London) and RTKL (USA), Wilhelm & Co. mandated the conception of the site and the buildings open to the public to the celebrated architect-designer Ron Arad, who would work together on this mission with Belgian architectural bureau Jaspers-Eyers.
Ron Arad: a name familiar to all those who love design – he is almost an icon in the domain. Over recent years he has risen to the status of being a reference for audacious, ‘different’ architecture. Israeli by birth, and also taking up British nationality (the country in which he studied architecture), he discovered design in Italy. It was at the beginning of the 80’s that he established his first studio One Off Ltd. Success was quick to come, with the chairs, ‘Rover’ and ‘Well-Tempered Chair’ along with the infamous ‘Bookworm’ bookshelf, amongst his landmark creations.
Known for his use of technologies and materials treated in totally original forms, Ron Arad has become the specialist in transformation, in experimentation. Professor of Architecture at the Royal College of Art (London) since the beginning of the 90’s, since this time Ron Arad has returned to his first love, architecture and interior design. He rapidly established himself within the circle of architects of international renown, with the creation of the foyer for the Tel-Aviv Opera House with its sinuous forms, the fitting out of an Adidas boutique in Paris, the Y’s Store showroom in Tokyo, the 7th floor of the Hotel America in Madrid with, amongst others, his former study-mate Zaha Hadid, Tel-Aviv Design Museum. Following the Pompidou Centre and the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art of New York), it is now the turn of the Barbican Centre in London to put on a retrospective of his work. Médiacité is his first architectural project of such a size.
Jaspers – Eyers
Jaspers-Eyers & Partners is an international architectural and town planning bureau under the leadership of three architects, with offices in Brussels, Leuven and Hasselt. Established over the course of the past fifty years, the vast portfolio of the firm encompasses projects varying from private lofts in the Espace Jacqmotte, to urban renovation such as the business centre in the North District in Brussels, not forgetting airports and European Union buildings.
Thanks to the wide variety of their work and their in-house experience, they are able to bring an international touch to local projects. The first concern of the firm is to offer outstanding designs with perfect equilibrium in economic and temporal terms, whilst paying particular attention to the ecological aspect. The long experience of Jaspers-Eyers & Partners has earned the bureau recognition as one of the most respected architectural firms in Belgium and Europe. The bureau has been honoured on many occasions for its excellent work. The innovative design of the firm remains determining within the vision and debate concerning the direction architecture is moving in today and in the future.