Grindbakken, Rodor (2012)
The Grindbakken, a vacant warehouse dock in Ghent, is a relic of the city's industrial shipping past inhabiting the landscape of a future residential and recreational zone. In the meantime, the structure will house a series of temporary interventions in its roofless, segmented spaces.
Rotor, a Belgian creative collective, designed a reductive act of interference as the first installation, selectively limiting the whitewashing of the surfaces to highlight the building's historical layers and narrative elements. Striated planes of grime, residue from years of storing gravel, and pieces of graffiti are framed by pure white, while unpainted lines reveal the transition between the original concrete pours. The artist/designers also preserved small pools of life, corners of lichen and edges of weedy grass. Much like a neighborhood undergoing a transformation, the Grindbakken's story of transition is understood by witnessing the simple contrast of new and old. The building becomes a small-scale experiment of what awaits its surroundings, as the decay is renewed and the abandoned repopulated. Its success lies not in hastening towards progress, but in making focused observations and exercising cautious restraint.