CANCELLED: The Urban Metabolism of Forest Trees

Crossed perspectives between Stephan Kampelmann (Sonian Wood Cooperative), who will speak about the relationship between the city and the forest over time and about the current metabolism of an urban forest, and Thierry Decuypere (V+ architects), who will present the potential of beech wood in contemporary architecture. Together with Frederik Vaes (Bruxelles Environnement), they will examine the challenges of wood usage in the Sonian Forest, particularly from the climate change point of view, and will discuss the replacement of old beech trees and the sales of a local resource on the international market.

Monday, March 30, 2020
19:30 - 22:00

Free admission - book a seat below

First lecture — Stephan Kampelmann (Sonian Wood Cooperative)

The Sonian Forest has always been a precious resource: firewood, timber, hunting. In addition to being a prestigious hunting property, there were times when the Sonian Forest generated ¼ of the income of our sovereigns through the sale of wood. Today our cathedral beech forest is a source of leisure and the green lung of Brussels. Couldn't the carbon stock that this wood represents last through local furniture and architecture? This is what is at stake in the Sonian Wood Cooperative, led by Stephan Kampelmann. The forest industry, having maintained a century-old practice of auctioning wood, thousands of m³ of wood are transported annually to the port of Antwerp then transported to Asia, part of which will return to Europe, sawn or in the form of furniture.

Second lecture — Thierry Decuypere (V+ architectes)

Despite the fact that Belgian architects, designers and artists are rediscovering wood as a healthy, sustainable and noble material, with innumerable applications, the majority of the wood of the Sonian Forest is sold to the Asian market. They must therefore use wood from Scandinavia, Russia and North America to meet the growing demand. The intervention of V+ architects presents the contours of a new approach in architecture: instead of targeting optimal, standardized materials from uncertain sources, the idea is to work with the resources found on the territory, with all the faults and peculiarities they contain. The architects of V+ will illustrate this approach with the help of two Brussels projects: the renovation of a public building in the Elisabeth Park and a single-family housing project.


19:15 welcome

19:30 -19:45 introduction

19:45-20:30 Stephan Kamplemann – Sonian Wood Cooperative, Chaire en économie circulaire et métabolisme urbain at the ULB

20:30-21:00 Thierry Decuypere – V+ architectes

21:00-21:30 discussion with Serge Kempeneers/ Frederik Vaes / Serge Laurent 


Expo (30.03.20 - 30.04.20)

As part of the talk The Urban Metabolism of Forest Trees, a small exhibition will be presented in the foyer (-1). This exhibition is part of the Sonian Wood Coop's efforts to maintain the wood of the Sonian Forest in the local Brussels economy. Currently, tons of wood are sent each year to Asia, depriving Brussels of a precious resource and increasing its carbon footprint considerably. Sonian Wood Coop wants to change that through a project that encourages sustainable and local production with this quality wood. The portraits presented in the exhibition represent the many diverse players who want to help set up this market. They range from forest rangers to loggers, timber merchants to sawyers, artisans to architects and end consumers. 

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