Minett Trail: the ‘Floater’ lodge in Dudelange
A vestige of the region’s industrial past
The ‘Floater’ project developed by M3 Architects is the result of a close collaboration with artist Franck Miltgen. It was conceived as a hybrid proposal between sculpture and architecture.
Particular attention has been paid to the building’s integration into a very specific context, steeped in history and reclaimed by nature, so as to strike a balance between respect for the environment and interaction with its constitutive elements. To fit into this narrative, the matrix of the project was modelled on an open-pit rock face in the Haard-Hesselbierg-Staebierg nature reserve, a witness to the region’s mining past, which was reproduced using 3D scanning and cutting based on digital files.
‘The rock face containing the ore guided us in shaping the lodge. The exterior and interior reliefs of the Floater are constructed as though with a 3D printer, using successive layers that are stacked up to reproduce the plasticity of the rock: the exterior in stainless steel and the interior in wood and slightly truncated. In essence, imagine that the surface corresponding to the rock is replicated inside – a bit like a mask that has an outer side and a ‘negative’ inner side.
The materials were chosen to meet the requirements of circular economy, the narrative of the context in which the lodge is set, and the need to create a dynamic and subtle interaction on a colourful water surface.
With its reflective steel facade, the lodge calls to mind an iceberg. This symbolic reference to climate change, coupled with the choice of steel as a material and the historical importance of the area as a mining basin, allows for a complex and multi-facetted interpretation of the building. It is intended to propose a form that questions our relationship with nature through technology and science.
‘We reflected on the role that the surface of the water could play in this project. In absolute terms and artistically speaking, the pattern and idea of a transparent water surface have a rich and fertile history. We wanted to integrate concepts from this heritage and root the project in a dialogue between man and nature that reaches beyond the simple visual sublimation it induces.’
In this sense, the neighbouring CNA, Waassertuerm and Pomhouse set the framework for the central theme of the ‘Floater’, which questions the recording of reality by means of image technologies. The images created by the reflective surfaces resonate with the geological structures and offer hikers a unique combined experience of the trail they have explored during the day, the site where they will spend the night, and the history linking the two.
Architects’ office: M3 Architects (www.m3architectes.lu)
Artist: Franck Miltgen (www.franckmiltgen.com)
Site: Bassin in Dudelange, 1b rue du Centenaire, Municipality of Dudelange