The building as "container"
The building was originally built in 1973 by Emile Veranneman and architect Christiaan Vander Plaetse.
Designer Lode Uytterschaut: "It is extremely fascinating to deal with complex projects as this one because the architect is confronted with an existing site and an existing building. This demands a throrough analysis of the own history, the situation within the urban, environmental and social structures as well as the architectural and technical tradition. Because this building contains all of these characteristics, we needed to refrain from, strengthen or add features in order to realise an entirely new project.
The building has been completely covered with lead to fortify the architectural volume into a massive and monumental unity.
We have given this material a lot of thought. Lead is relatively easy to manipulate and even more, it is a vivid material. The sunlight changes the color of the building as the day progresses. Time finishes it off by giving it a unique patina."
For Mr. Uytterschaut, not only the building but also the site, the landscape, the interior, the shoe collections and the art, are part of something larger: the SONS collection.
William Habraken, Pierre Bogaerts and Veerle Swenters are extending the collections every day.
Uytterschaut: "That's why I approached the way of exhibiting as a kind of "warehouse", a store with flexible and industrial systems. I'm convinced that for the SONS visitor it's much more interesting to explore the collection in total freedom and to discover new things upon every visit..."