10 Questions

How do you build the ideal seksplek?

Seraing is the first city in our country that an architectural design competition unless you opt out for an Eros Center. Never before had architects to give shape to the erotic imagination. ‘It’s like a co-working space where the girls have a booth to rent.’

Ten years ago, began to Hatch the curbing of prostitution. The paid love won after all, drug trafficking and crime in its wake. Because the city no licences executed, moved the seksgebeuren. A part went underground and withdrew in closed houses. Another part moved his activities to just go to another site. Especially Seraing was popular. In ten years time there were three times as many prostitutes langstippelen.

Seraing chose not to …

Ten years ago, began to Hatch the curbing of prostitution. The paid love won after all, drug trafficking and crime in its wake. Because the city no licences executed, moved the seksgebeuren. A part went underground and withdrew in closed houses. Another part moved his activities to just go to another site. Especially Seraing was popular. In ten years time there were three times as many prostitutes langstippelen.

Seraing chose not to resolve the problem with root and branch, to eradicate, but to the seksgebeuren checked for tolerance. The city wrote an open call to a building of two thousand square meters to be designed with 34 rooms. They budgetteert the investment of seven million euros, and plans to finance over twenty years.

It is remarkable how strongly the project from the point of view of sex workers as formulated. This gave the architects the question to two separate car parks to design and private spaces where the girls can pause and relax. The management is in the hands of a non-profit, that the cubicles directly to the prostitutes rent. Pimps come in this constellation. The idea is to allow the sex workers to protect their independence, to give back. Hard profit is of minor importance: the profit is invested in facilities for the tenants.

Fifteen architectural firms ventured for the first time at the Eros Center as gebouwentype. We took them by Lisa De Visscher, editor-in-chief of the architectuurmagazine A+, that the proposals in a special issue doorlichtte. What are we learning look like?

The environment

Where do you bring such a love-sme? Seraing do that in the neighborhood of the Rue Marnix, who now has become a red-light district. Once the centre is there, should it last with the love in the wild, which is the condition. De Visscher: “The centre is located in an abandoned industrial area next to the river Maas, in the neighborhood of abandoned factories, a railway and a pipeline. There is little control. Nearby is a residential area with low working-class houses, but which has a little with his back to the field rotated. The Eros Center is relatively close, but at the same time invisible.’

Another issue is the appearance. Wants the building in the spotlight walk, as an amusement park with outstanding exposure and advertising? Or will it rather in himself? On one thing all the designs agree: the showcases are not visible from the street, but are oriented towards an inner area. Two desks set up for the walls to work as a stadsgevel with high windows, as if it is a typical building in the row.

The Theme: “two is the building reasonably kameleontisch, all in one nevertheless a logo that the audience is recognizable. The other designs go for a blind façade, which is in the center hides. At the same time creates such a facade the activities. Once someone enter the site, he is not visible. There are agencies that are transparent strips in the facade to integrate. She bricklaying with roosterverband or work with perforated metal plates. If it is dark, light the center in the dark. So, they try to intrigue, and to respond to the exciting.’

How is such a shielded lab organized? The central idea is to use two circulation flows to work, so the staff and the clientele to each other only to meet in a ‘work situation’. The staff has a car park with fifty places, the customers have elsewhere on the site a separate car park. They come in via different entrances and exits. The backs of the rooms look out on a courtyard of 350 square meters where only the girls have access to. They can get a breath of air or smoke a cigarette. Under the motto ‘the police, your friend, ” there is a police station on the site integrated.

“Most offices are have a elliptic organisation,” says De Visscher. ‘Usually the studies central, surrounded by an elliptical circulation for the customers. That walk to the showcases back up them again at the entrance end. Someone steps back, almost to no one. This type of building works by the grace of the discretion you prefer to walk not your neighbor at the body.’

‘A lot of options other than the vitrinemodel there are not, ” says De Visscher. ‘There must be something to be shown or promoted, such as at a market or in a shopping centre. Just like a hotel room, the possibilities are limited. The desk V+, the box a small stroke, so that the prostitutes are not on each other need to look. They are, after all, concurrentes. For the rest, the chambers fairly generic, with a bed, a toilet and a private part for the employee. In each plan, there is a police station, a doctor’s, a cafeteria and a relaxation area. Actually, the Eros Center to compare with a co-working space for small businesses, where you have a cubicle hire to do your job.’

The winner of the architectural competition is Jourdain Architectes Associés (J2A) that pronounced care devoted to the employees. The channels designed for them in the underground parking and a private patio that is completely hidden from view. On the header of the site, the architects have a cluster with staff accommodation. They situate the site behind a corrugated metal sheet that are semi-transparent. Now to build.

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