001 Traumnovelle Filip Dujardin

The Joyful Apocalypse

With The Joyful Apocalypse, the Brussels architecture firm Traumnovelle is redefining the 13th-century courtyard of the Stadshallen [City Halls]. The 9-metre-high structure elevates the square into a temporary stage and turns the casual passer-by into a dynamic extra. The materials create an impression of perpetual change.

10:00 – 20:00

Once the epicentre of trade and a site for all kinds of gatherings, the medieval courtyard is nowadays more a passageway or waiting area for its many visitors.

With The Joyful Apocalypse, Traumnovelle enters into a dialogue with the courtyard and formulates a radically different alternative to the typical situation. Their installation exploits and reactivates the entire site and transforms it into a place of wonder and play. Visitors will recognise materials such as scaffolding and aluminium panels in the work, not to mention silver curtains. These follow the contours of the courtyard and reflect the 9-metre-high structure. The Joyful Apocalypse picks up the colours of its surroundings, which makes it seem to be in a state of perpetual change, just like the overhead sky. It absorbs heat and emanates cold. It is as alluring as it is impervious.

The installation upgrades the square into a temporary stage and turns the casual passer-by into a dynamic extra. Visitors are invited to wander through the structure and observe – across three floors – what is happening above and below. Open-air performances, presentations and concerts – some planned, others spontaneous – will find a place both on and around the installation. Who is the user? Who is the spectator or actor? Who observes whom?

The Joyful Apocalypse reflects the past but, above all else, it is an incentive to do more with this site in the future. For Bruges, and all those who live and move through the city.

Portret Traumnovelle Barbara Salome Felgenhauer
© Barbara Salome Felgenhauer

Traumnovelle (2015, Brussel, BE) was founded in 2015 by the architects Léone Drapeaud (b. 1987, Canberra, AU), Manuel León Fanjul (b. 1990, Charleroi, BE) and Johnny Leya (b. 1990, Kinshasa, DRC). The Brussels-based firm positions itself as a militant faction that weaves fiction and non-fiction into projects on paper or in stone. In its work, Traumnovelle highlights socio-political themes through interventions that have a radical impact on their surroundings and thus spark debate.

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