In the middle of the new development VINEX Leidscherijn sits an archeological site, containing faint traces of a Roman castellum. Built in wood, it is today only visible as coloured layers of earth. The city’s desire to turn this phantom monument into the historical core of the new housing scheme, demands a magician’s trick: to turn absence into presence. We do so by proposing a twofold process.
The archelogical site is framed by an elevated pedestrian loop, sitting on top of a dyke. Inside this loop, the slow investigation of the archeologists can take place. The carefully removed earth will be sculpted, giving a physical form to the space where the castellum has been. Outside the loop, as a counterpart, a select choice of museological and leisure program is developed on top of a critical mass of housing. Freed from the ground, the high rise museum culminates in an observation platform, overlooking the former fortification lines of which the castellum once was a constituent part.