Brussels – Surrounded by contrasting terrain, the Academie MWD draws on the power of visual illusion to blend in with its unique setting while also using a vibrant colour palette.
Carlos Arroyo Architects needed to create an arts education centre that faced a public square, a museum, a protected natural forest and a suburban housing development.
The architects solved the problem by building a chameleon structure with a façade clad in vertical metal slats that change depending on the angle of view. Facing the front directly, vertical bars in bright colours create a surface that recalls 1960s Color Field paintings such as those by Ellsworth Kelly.
Facing the museum, the colour bars take on a more muted palette of blue and grey, while another angle reveals a building that blends into the forest scene behind it.
The bold use of visual illusion in architecture is a hallmark of the Psychedelia design direction.