Once upon a time, two toll houses occupied this very spot on Kardinaal Mercierplein. Up until 1860 you had to pay a toll here on entering and leaving the city. Two temporary pavilions have recently been erected on this site.
These temporary pavilions visualize the past and future of this location. And, more broadly, the past and future of the ring road encircling the city. Because at the end of 2025, a regeneration scheme will get under way.
The idea of the pavilions is to tell you more about the history of the defensive wall, the ramparts -‘vesten’ in Dutch -, which surrounded the city between the 13th and 19th centuries. But we also look forwards to the Mechelen of tomorrow: what will the Nieuwe Vesten – the New Ramparts - look like? The images you see in the pavilions provide a foretaste of what is to come.
In one of the two pavilions, a slope leads up to an observation post, where the structure merges with the trees round about, giving a sense of walking among the treetops.
Green and circular pavilions
The pavilions have been built entirely of recycled materials, which will be reusable again. The abundant and ever-changing vegetation is watered via the roofs. It symbolizes the greening of the ring road that is to follow. It is also a nod to the neo-classical interiors whose walls were decorated with motifs inspired by nature.
The City of Mechelen commissioned the pavilions and Dear pigs – AAC created them.