Veerle Van de Walle and Francesca Bonne (altu), CLUB COLLECTIBLE ambassadors
4 May 2021
CLUB COLLECTIBLE: What have you been up to recently? Which recent project would you like to draw attention to?
Veerle Van de Walle and Francesca Bonne: Despite the global lockdown, altu started a lot of collaborations during corona. It was a very interesting period, to say the least. One has been with ’t Kanon, a legendary old bar in the historic centre of Ghent (BE), which will reopen its doors after the pandemic with new, young owners. We redesigned the complete interior in a collaboration with Studio Stories (photo studio and set designer). The result is a contemporary reflection on the original zeitgeist of the bar, which is both old and new at the same time.
“It generates a certain fearlessness and humor. Innovation (in material and production) is absolute key.”
CC: Tell us about a collectible designer you would love to collaborate with or have enjoyed collaborating with on a past project.
VVdW & FB: One of our smallest commissions during corona turned out to be one of the most satisfactory. A little sauna refuge in Deurle (BE) near the Leie river. We worked in collaboration with the talented Finnish designer Jonas Lutz for this project. We believe that his Finnish roots and personal approach to traditional craftsmanship renders an extra layer of poetry into the design. The construction starts at the end of the month. We can’t wait.
Other designers we would love to collaborate with one day are Flore Fockedey, Marcin Rusak, Johan Viladrich and Laurids Gallée.
CC: What makes Rotterdam an exciting place for contemporary collectible design and (interior) architecture?
VVdW & FB: The majority of Eindhoven Design Academy students find their way to Rotterdam after graduation. The city, as we know it today, grew from a post war tabula rasa. A mix of daring colourful, avant-garde buildings shape the city. We believe the lack of any historic reference, makes it possible to create and design with a different, more free spirited mindset. It generates a certain fearlessness and humor. Innovation (in material and production) is absolute key.
CC: What do you think CLUB COLLECTIBLE could bring to Rotterdam design scene?
VVdW & FB: Dialogue with xenogamy and collaborations as a result.
altu - [rebelling against tradition whilst belonging to it]
altu was founded in 2018 by architects Veerle Van de Walle (’87) and Francesca Bonne (’88) as a multidisciplinary spatial design office in Antwerp (BE) specialised in architectural, interior and scenographic projects across Europe.
Whilst designing, altu meanders between historic reference and avant-garde impulses. Projects aim to go beyond the borders of architecture and involve innovative and extensive creative collaborations. Crossing borders, both literally and figuratively, is embedded in the heart of the practice.