Zaventem Ateliers is located in Flanders, in the heart of the town of Zaventem and at two steps from Brussels. The former 6000m2 paper mill has been transformed in a truly creative space thanks to the driving force of designer, scenographer and interior architect Lionel Jadot.
This industrial building houses some thirty individual studios of different sizes, among which the designer’s personal studio. The building only opened in September 2018 and today almost all studios are taken by artists and collectives working ceramics, leather, metal, marble or wood.
This diverse group of artists with different backgrounds and personalities form an impres- sively stimulating and innovative group.
The studios form a close-knit community characterized by a family and entrepreneurial atmosphere. It is an exquisite selection of both emerging and more experienced artists, where cooperation, discussion and sharing expertise are put central.
Maison Armand Jonckers :
Armand Jonckers and his children Alexandra and Grégoire continue the work Armand started years before. Three artists and two generations define the artistic direction of the Maison Armand Jonckers with a permanent attention to maintain the balance between aesthetic codes and a renewed creation dynamic. This is work on the edge of design and arts, where metal and resin combinations lead to unique and poetic pieces.
After having worked a couple of years for the big names in the fashion industry (like Chanel, Hermès, Dior) Aurélie to go after her own art and she chose Zaventem Ateliers to launch her project. Haute couture dresses, arty jewelry, unique pieces which only carry her own message. Her universe is poetic, sensitive, melancholic and confusing.
All thirty studios overlook the Grand Hall, an impressive 600m2 exhibition space. The Grand Hall is the ideal place to offer an extra dimension to the creative ambition of Zaventem Ateliers and in the meantime opens the dialogue with the outside world.
Typical for the Grand Hall is the fact that it’s located in the middle of the artists. This way, the public not only gets the chance to visit an exhibition, but also to dive into the intimacy of the studios. Every visitor gets the opportunity to meet the Zaventem Ateliers designers and artists.
In order to stimulate development and organization, Zaventem Ateliers offers the role of curator to a well-known player in design, art or architecture every year. This person curates a number of events during that period of time.
Art Director Dimitri Jeurissen, also co-founder of the Base Design agency, is the first to be appointed as curator for a duration of two years. He expresses the ambition to push and question the boundaries of design, crafts and arts.
A double program has been developed, with an exhibition “Import/Export”, where an artist or designer is invited to develop a specific project – and three to four “showcases”, encouraging encounters and exchanges between the Zaventem Ateliers residents.
Showcases are exhibitions which focus on different artists and artisans in the building. It is a challenge and a meeting place to them, but also an opportunity to show themselves in a framework which is radically different from museums and galleries. The showcases stimulate the collaboration among residents and guarantee another kind of visibility
The Import/Export exhibitions are more autonomous and ambitious exhibitions where an artist from outside the studios is invited to take over the Grand Hall and to question the subject of art and design.
The space was inaugurated by the visual artist and designer Stéphane Barbier Bouvet who set up an ambitious and critical exhibition: “Design as we Speak”.
The exhibition leans on the permanent engagement of Barbier Bouvet to use design as an application, a kind of knowledge and critical comment about art and design.
Starting from a cabin, the exhibition presents the principal building blocks in the artist’s practice regarding autonomy, adaptability, lightness and evolution.
Three cabin cases were presented, all quite different in terms of design and habitability, and definitely not yet ‘finished’. The cabins respond to the necessary conditions for the creation of shelter and autonomy. The cabins are also presented as a space for introspec- tion and criticism.
The exhibition does not aim to present three finished structures, it is more a means to represent Barbier Bouvet’s applied proposals in real life.
A first Showcase : « prototypes » shows the way forward for the future. The theme and scenography both are the leitmotiv for the upcoming Showcases.
Prototypes are sketches, project models or objects which are still in creation phase.
They show the traces of the process, the methods used by the artist, but also his mistakes. This concept opens the road to a future evolution. The Showcase allows us to think differently about an artwork, to witness the experimenting and the evolution of the artist’s work.