Safety Pavilion Knokke

Compagnie O. Architects

If there is one building line we shan’t cross, it is the Belgian coastline. Yet somehow there is still that one building left to be built: a new Safety Pavilion – an observation post for the lifeguards of Knokke-Heist. The first of its kind. But should we build where we don’t want to?

- enters Dutch architect/artist John Körmeling -
“… the Belgian coast is a beautiful linear city, isn’t it?”
“… and what if we do nothing, or almost nothing?”
“… it has to be something pretty and playful like Brighton or Joseph Emberton. A party in Belgium! Something round and pink?”

This ‘machine à surveiller’ wants to be virtually absent, yet highly visible at the same time. From the boulevard, only the elevated look-out shows itself, as the cornice of the pavilion coincides with the horizon at sea. From the beach however, a cylindrical object lets in the most democratic of public spaces from all sides. It is bright yellow as plastic beach toys and buoys – as the sun, and one of the universal colours of the lifeguards. A sense of safety is induced by the pavilions’ taboo-free transparency and permeability.

Cieo + John Körmeling

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