PAST TO FUTURE – the great wincqz quarry

Isabelle Toussaint & Matteo RobbiglioPAST TO FUTURE - the great wincqz quarry

Book launch

Peinture Fraîche bookshop and the Faculty of Architecture la Cambre Horta are joining forces to mark the publication of the book PAST TO FUTURE La grande carrière Wincqz (ed. Prisme) and invite you to a meeting with the two authors Isabelle Toussaint and Matteo Robiglio on Friday 24 November 2023, from 6.30 to 7.30 pm, at the Victor Bourgeois auditorium (19 place Eugène Flagey, 1050).

Isabelle Toussaint and Matteo Robiglio founded TRA_Toussaint Robiglio Architetti ( in 2011, after 20 years with Avventura Urbana (participatory architecture), and work on architectural and urban planning projects in Italy and Belgium. The practice is based in Turin (Italy), where Matteo is a full professor of architectural and urban design at the Polytechnic. Their professional and research activity explores the role of heritage in cities and landscapes in transition, proposing a transformative design approach to the architectural and territorial heritage of historic buildings and sites. They have recently published on these themes, RE- USA 20 American Stories of Adaptive Reuse (Berlin 2017) and Past to Future, La Grande Carrière Wincqz (Brussels 2022).

The unprecedented spread of heritage practices and experimental preservation practices is prompting us to question conservation paradigms. Demographic decline, the ecological challenge and changes in usage are posing new questions. How can we combine preservation and transformation in our projects? How can we turn the heritage of the past into the most innovative ingredient of our future?

This book documents the project to convert and restore the Grande Carrière Wincqz in Soignies, Belgium. A site built in the 19th century for the excavation of the famous Belgian blue stone, now dedicated to an ambitious project: the Pôle de la Pierre, a training centre dedicated to the stone trades.

The architects, Isabelle Toussaint, Matteo Robbiglio and Patrick Bribosia, have taken an architectural approach that respects all the archaeological and industrial traces of the site. They pay particular attention to the contemporary interventions, which they want to be clearly identifiable while blending harmoniously into the existing fabric.

The book deals with the transformation of the site in three essays: – a photographic essay by Marie Noëlle Dailly, which explores the spaces and landscapes inside and outside the transformed site; a theoretical essay, which places the Soignies project within the more general issue of the reuse of industrial heritage; a graphic essay, which reconstructs the transformation of the site through documents, photographs of the worksite phases, drawings and sketches, as a process of creating places that is also a collective process of creating meaning.

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