Ivan Dikov

The thesis begins with a study of the urban fabric of Mons through examination of historic maps to arrive at the appropriate function of the building at a site which has remained unsettled in contrast to its resilient surroundings. Furthermore, following the studies on the figure-ground phenomenon, the building aims to establish a solid to void dialect which enables for the joint existence of the overtly planned and genuinely unplanned, as a distinction between the public function of the city hall and its adjacent residences. The relationship between public and private is also studied to enable a continuous dialogue between all members of society and create boundaries between all public and private spheres which exist in close proximity. The melding of the monument and matrix is suggested to emphasize the distinction between the lasting nature of the authoritative monument and the transformative nature of the mundane offices and residences. Finally, a new outdoor spaces is created between the city hall and an existing cathedral creating an urban stage where all members of society become the performers and the building takes its place as a monolithic observer of the city. In doing so, a hierarchy of spaces is accomplished: the commercial spaces are at the bottom, to solve an issue of commercial preoccupation at the center in Mons, followed by the mundane office spaces above and the event + municipal spaces are at the top.

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