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    Lida O'Shea

    Factory of Artistic Activism

    Interventions hiding within the Palace of Justice Palace of Justice: Front Elevation Ground Floor Plan - Activist Headquarters Exploded Iso showing the two interventions Third Floor Plan - Interventions Embedded within the Courts Interior Images of Public Galleries and Activist Spaces

    Interventions hiding within the Palace of Justice

    Establishing a new typology of place for protest, placed within, and operating alongside an existing state run institution.




    This thesis seeks to provide an opportunity for response to state power, to the people of Antwerp. The Factory is placed within the Old Palace of Justice - the main court house in the Judicial Area of Antwerp. The monumental status and existing layering of programs, separate circulations and spectrum of publicity and access of the existing building, provide a unique opportunity to add activist programme - without difficulty or nuisance.

    The driving design rule has been to create space, where there is none, like the series of multi-level roof-tops which now host an organism of activism within, the sculptural structure placed within the courtyard and the lower floors of the building - currently disused and inaccessible.

    The thesis is placed within a timeline using history and future plans for the Palace as a narrative within which a period of abandonment set from 2012 to 2019 becomes a window initiating and encouraging its occupation by the activists. By 2022 with the Palace is set to re-open, the Factory of Activism becomes an operation, hidden in plain sight, functioning alongside the courts. The building turns into a machine for justice run by the state and the people.

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