According to its designers, Naves explores the relationship of gothic architecture to lightness and transparency. The proposed gothic arch will be made of glass fiber tubes using tension to create a maximum sense of lightness.
Gothic structures historically sought to reduce a building to its core essence and create a sense of lightness by incorporating natural light into the design and creating pillars, arches, and vaults that were as light as possible. Gothic churches used linear elements based on the ogive, or curved arch, and maximized permeability while minimizing weight.
Naves will consist primarily of reusable materials, including a wooden deck and partitions and a temporary skin made of ETFE, a fluorine-based plastic that is strong and resists corrosion over a wide range of temperatures. The structure will be centered around a central circulation axis that will provide access to cultural spaces, similar to the nave of a gothic church. Naves will consist of differentiated sections with varying rod density, which will gradually vary the interior volume of the structure and serve as a transition between the building and the surrounding park. The design is based on an analysis of the Sainte Wandru Cathedral, which is visible from the site.
The Capital of Culture is a movement that studies technology, art, architecture, economic and social change, culture, and the environment throughout Europe. It hosts exhibitions, theater, music, and events with literary and technological themes highlighting European culture. Its partners, such as museums and music and drama institutions, collaborate on a series of original projects. The 2015 event is designed to develop the city of Mons and give its people, companies, and artists the opportunity to advance by combining art, economics, the city, and its people and heritage.
Appareil is an architecture firm founded by Edouard Cabay in Barcelona in 2011. It uses process-based design methodology that combines traditional methods with digital design and manufacturing.