MDMA l Martine De Maeseneer Architects exists this year 30 years. Their first public building, the Bronks Youth Theatre, situated in the center of Brussels, was awarded in 2011 as the first ever Belgian finalist in the European Mies van der Rowe Award for Contemporary Architecture.
So far their journey followed a limited edition of realisations of private houses, office buildings, social housing, all of them extensively published.
Martine De Maeseneer Architects is not a compulsive builder. The practice mediates between ‘theorisation’ and ‘realisation’. How can we build in ‘differance’ (with an ‘a’) in our practice as a self-regulating machine ? It is a question about quantity (also), but then of a different order.
In order to reach this, we started looking for a medium that isn’t preoccupied with form, image and Gestalt.
As our motto we state that ‘context’ alone is not enough, that projects should at the least look conceptual, that they should be imbedded in text.
What manifested itself in the beginning as very spontaneous side remarks/doodles, we gradually deepened and extended toward an autonomous operating language. Within our practice we continuously search for a broader field of ‘patterns’, ‘motives’, ‘logos’, ‘plots’ and ‘timbres’. — Words with an architectural resonance - which are an expression of a social, cultural an political involvement and expertise at large. This kind of (in)directness works.
As an architect MDMA is always interested in spatial organisations which can initiate multi-layered non-linear storeys. The construction of spaces with gliding identities is always the ambition, so that a complexity of situations, storey-telling and characters in an urban and architectural landscape arise - landscapes which can never be experienced in the same way twice and fulfil contemporary needs.
Found ‘architectural intelligence’ form, as a kind of hyper-archeology, the base to position new architectural projects in contemporary debates, and become translated towards a new contemporary reality.
It is always the ambition to recombine “extreme past and future”, matter and signs, in order to project as an architect critic, the city into the future.
Since 2000 MDMA participated in about 50 architectural competitions launched in Belgium and abroad, and has been working inbetween on an architectural theory. MDMA is the author of two small books – The In-di-visible Space (Antwerp 1993) and Ideality-3-Lost (Brussels 1997) and has published about 10 essays in an international forum of books and magazines.