LabOvo

Rendering LabOvo, exterior view, Cosmopolitan Culture Park, LABIOMISTA, Genk (BE) ® Van Belle & Medina, Koen Vanmechelen

About halfway into the Cosmopolitan Culture Park, there emerges a pavilion in light gray concrete and finished with façade elevations in wood and glass. LabOvo, a contraction of 'AB OVO' – a reference to the earliest beginnings, when all emergent forms of life resemble each other – and 'LAB', a nod to the cross-disciplinary collaborations that result in scientific (and other) findings, to the story of DNA and to the diversity both in Vanmechelen's work and in nature itself. The lab offers space for experimentation, fertilisation, and the hybridisation of organisms and ideas.

LabOvo is a place where people can take a break during their walk in the park – the roof doubles as a terrace, offering a panoramic view of the site. At the same time, it’s the nerve centre of the Cosmopolitan Culture Park. In LabOvo, there is room both to care for animals and for education: there is a quarantine area, a space for workshops and an amphitheatre that serves as a speakers’ corner.

Function: a combination of animal care, indoor amphitheatre, sanitary facilities, panoramic roof, multipurpose room for activities or education

Architect: Van Belle en Medina (Antwerp)