Culture & Art

Jul 1, 2017


A church can be the crux of one's life, or simply a physical structure that blends into its surroundings. This is what lies at the heart of "Reading between the Lines", an art installation which merges landscape, heritage and religion in the public space of Borgloon, Belgium.


The construction lies there, since September 2013. It is the result of the extraordinary work of young Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh. It is placed in the rural landscape of Borgloon-Heers (province of Limburg), by a cycle route and it is based on the design of the local church.

The construction consists of 30 tons of steel and 2000 columns and is built on a fundament of armed concrete. It is built overlaying horizontal steel plates, supported by steel columns, recreating the concept of a traditional church, without walls, thus transforming it into a transparent object of art.

Depending on the perspective of the viewer, the object is either perceived as a massive and compact building, or it dissolves – partly or completely -  into the landscape. On the other hand, when viewed from inside out, the viewer can witness an abstract play of lines that reshape the surrounding landscape.

Well, it is not really a church. But it looks like one, though. After all, a church does not have a well-defined function and its focus is merely on the visual experience itself - one can even consider it as a drawing line in time and space.

At the same time, however, this one, does not fulfil its classical function (prayer, enclosure, peace and thought), but it surely fulfils the main purpose: providing inner peace for all who consider using it for a moment of peace within nature itself.

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