Top-down Bottom-up

Adrien Tirtiaux proposes: a pedestrian bridge connecting the Bossuit-Kortrijk Canal at the back with the difficult-to-reach Transfo. This new entrance creates a spectacular dramaturgy which suddenly makes you perceive the site in a very different way: the visitor goes through a pit of wild vegetation and ends up in the buzzing heart of the power station in all its rough monumentality.


As so often in the works of Tirtiaux, the building principle translates the prevailing tensions into structural elements. The bridge itself hangs from an enormous, sculptural concrete beam cast on site. It is a permeable wooden structure with a staircase and a ramp to push your bike up. The bridge is conceived in such a way that you touch as little as possible the vegetation underneath, while it can grow through it. If you take a closer look at the wooden structure of the pedestrian bridge, you can see its relationship with the concrete beam it is attached to: you literally walk on the formwork with which the 20 metres long concrete beam was cast.


Transfo has to find a balance between efficiency and socio-cultural activities. In that context, the pedestrian bridge is an almost poetic reflection: the contradictory dynamic between the structure from above and nature from below is a resonance of the classic dichotomy in the latest urban development theories. A top-down approach, in which an authority decides and investors intervene, distinguishes itself from a bottom-up movement, in which local communities bring about change and participate in the design process.


Top-down Bottom-up proposes a semi-permanent infrastructure through which you can reach the place and leave it in its original state.


In the context of Contrei LIve, commissioned by Intercommunale Leiedal, production Platform 0090.