The Bollart® – edition Christine Conix

Christine Conix (B, 1955) is a world famous Belgian architect. Her architectural practice Conix Architects is consciously not specialising into a specific typology, and is known from projects such as the renovation of the Zilvermuseum (Silver Museum) Sterckshof in Deurne (2007-2015) and the renovation of the Atomium in Brussels (2004-2007), the residential apartments Ocean's Four in Gdansk, Poland (2008-2011), the combined developments London Tower/Northgate (2005-2011) and Hoopnatie (1999-2006), both in Antwerp, and recently the master plan for the industrial site and development of the Head Office for Umicore in Hoboken (2005-2009).

From her office at the Cockerillkaai, with a view on the river Schelde, the original bollards are familiar daily reflections of the hospitality of Antwerp to Christine. Analogue to her design of the Belgian pavilion for the World Expo in Shanghai she provides her version of the Antwerp Bollart® with the dimension of urban clusters, a collection of collaborating structures, buildings and streets all close together - forming the body of the kindred spiritness of the city people. She displays the stones of the city by milling geometrical patterns out of the Antwerp Bollart®, patterns which become windows making way for the light of the soul of the inhabitants. From a distance, people experience this as an aerial photograph of Antwerp at dusk: the order of immovable structures enriched by the glow of the people who live there.

The technical feat of strength for the realisation of Christine’s design was achieved by Research Centre Sirris and has resulted in the creation of a specific software programme, which enables a robotic arm to conduct five-axis milling. Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQwqBWWjuIE and http://www.sirris.be/defaultPage.aspx?id=8878&LangType=2067 for a movie and explanation of this technical achievment.