MUSEF - Musée de Folklore Mouscron

Located in the Province of Hainaut, Wallonia (within easy reach of both Flanders an France), the Musée de Folklore de Mouscron (MUSEF) reveals memento's of life along the borders between 1850 and 1950. The pieces are from a time where Mouscron went from a small village to an industrial town. The collection is displayed very nicely and makes a compelling visit, but in all honesty - it's the building that does the heavy lifting.

The Folklore Museum, which was nominated for 2019's Mies van der Rohe Award, stretches along a small road behind the original museum building – a 19th-century townhouse on the main road. Its implantation in length reveals a secret garden. Its architecture tries not to overshadow the buildings that surround it. The white brick makes the most of the relatively narrow plot, and a variation in heights along its length accommodates different functions.

The artist Simon Boudvin brings a narrative but also political depth to the project. His work consisted of inserting bricks recovered on the demolition sites of the small Mouscronnois heritage in the façades. These demolished buildings, often by the City of Mouscron itself, were the very places of the craft activities exhibited inside the Museum. The bricks inserted in the facade contribute to the story of the preservation of tradition and minor architecture under threat. In the facades, the recovered bricks are distinguished from the new bricks by their texture. The artist has made the choice to cover them with a white lime painting that leaves only to perceive the gesture and the idea of his approach without staging supported by the principle of recovery. This creates a deliberately imperfect aesthetic.

To visit MUSEF, visit the website.