Dirk, Laura and Yanaika Denoyelle build sustainable village in visionary library (Schoten)

John Auman

Yanaika Denoyelle is a bio-engineer and has been working for some time as a ‘climate assistant’ at Econopolis, the organization through which well-known television face Geert Noels advises governments and companies on how to make a profit without harming our planet. This week she published the book Climate Shock in which Denoyelle junior proposes twenty feasible solutions for Belgium, from a climate diet to carbon capture and futuristic neighborhoods with neighborhood batteries and solar panels on every roof.

Her sister Laura is an architect and, based on that specialty, is equally concerned about our planet and comes up with creative solutions. One example of this is her book Tiny Homes, which will roll off the presses in 2023. Laura Denoyelle also helped her father put together his sustainability expo, which was previously shown in Technopolis and in the Royal Palace in Laeken.

Dirk Denoyelle with his Greta Thunberg from Lego, with a chandelier by Renaat Braem floating in the background. © JAA


The scenes composed with Lego blocks will be displayed in the Braem Library until 21 January. She would certainly have received permission from the long-deceased architect of the Schoten monument. He came up with the concept of the linear city almost a hundred years ago. All residential and industrial development would be concentrated in one demarcated zone in order to leave the rest of the landscape untouched. The reverse of what would later happen in Flanders with ribbon development. The Braem Library is a brutalist ode to the four natural elements: fire, earth, air and water.

“Inspired by the innovative ideas of my daughters, I want to sketch a positive picture of the future with this expo and provide solutions through various Lego setups. For example, there is a sustainable mini-city and you can see how we can protect the coast against rising sea levels.”

Ducks show the way

Denoyelle also built two houses next to each other for this exp: one house nice and sleek, the other with the same comfort but more climate and environmentally friendly. The garden was given a swimming pond instead of a swimming pool, permeable tiles, no air conditioning but a tree by the window… “I want to draw attention to environmental and climate issues in a positive way, with a focus on what we do and themselves to solve that problem”, says Denoyelle, who came to open the exhibition in Schoten himself with his family.

“This is how children discover how they can make a difference in the climate crisis: stop flying, eat less or less meat, follow the tips of the waste ladder… Weird ducks, with bodies in the shape of different vehicles, all have a different footprint . This immediately makes it clear that the train is better for the climate than the car, and that a cruise ship pollutes by far the most.”

Denoyelle supplemented the exhibition with a series of mosaics of well-known scientists. And of course Greta Thunberg could not be missed. 8000 stones crawled into the young climate activist. The Braembib lacks the space to allow creative visitors to help build a sustainable city, as was possible in Technopolis, as elsewhere. (yeah)

Blocks in the library, Building for the future, Lego blocks, science and Renaat Braem until January 21 in the Braem library Schoten, Sint-Cordulaplein 10, during the opening hours of the library. Expo Dirk Denoyelle in Braembib


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