Feeling comfortable in waiting and transit areas accompanied by pleasant music and something good to drink, in a refined and elegant context where marble boasts inimitable decorative value. This is the essence of the XYZ Lounge, a hub and meeting point for visitors to the Zebrastraat Cultural Centre in Ghent, Belgium, designed by French architect Didier Fiúza Faustino.
The XYZ Lounge occupies an area of 360 square metres inside the centre's public facilities and seeks to redefine the use and image of this place for intersection and transit. The design approach emphasises the meaning of meeting and convergence through the organisation of spaces. The central nave acts as a meeting point and was implemented by reshaping existing facilities thanks to a metal structure, with a tapered section reaching upwards to the source of light. Natural stone with a mirror-finish embellishes the lower part, while stucco wood and fabric characterise the upper area; the central islands with hanging lamps and the bar counter to the rear are in the same pink veined marble as the walls, which gives this space an aura of bodily sacredness.
The left side of the central nave, from the entrance, has a space for cocktails and evening parties with a DJ counter and mega-screen behind it, while the right side has a smaller open space allows access to the terrace. Furnishing - designed specifically for this setting - comprises fixed marble elements (counter, islands and hanging lights), high tables and stools in painted steel tubing and a series of rotary-moulded polypropylene seats. The pink shade of the marbles and walls dominates this setting, together with the olive green of the furnishings and the cylindrical structure containing the staircase up to the mezzanine.
Run-up to Marmomac 2019
The work of Didier Fiúza Faustino has stood at the crossroads between art and architecture from the outset of his career and this is evident in his installations and experimental research alike, as well as multi-sensorial spaces and architecture. The XYZ Lounge also highlights his search for a relationship between body and space: "At a time when social, sexual and gender identities are turned upside down and challenged, how can we provide a neutral yet sensual space, a space free from social markers, without adapting to a singular identity?" says Didier Faustino. The natural sensuality of natural stone ensures an ideal response to these concepts.
Project: Didier Fiúza Faustino
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Client: Fondation Liedts-Meesen
Area: 360 m²
Images: Felipe Ribon and David Boureau