Bangkok Project Studio Filip Dujardin liggend
Bangkok Project Studio

The tower of balance

A fourth beacon for Bruges' skyline

10:00 – 18:00

The tower of balance by Boonserm Premthada of Thailand’s Bangkok Project Studio is inspired by his visit to Bruges’ 13th-century Belfry. His 18-metre-high contemporary bell tower, with three wooden viewing platforms, both marks and gives meaning to a little-known stretch of greenery.

The pine structure opposite King Albert I Park is on the same axis as Bruges’ three iconic towers: St. Salvator’s Cathedral, the Church of Our Lady and the Belfry. As symbols of church and state, they have dominated the city’s skyline for centuries: landmarks and gathering places for meeting, exchange, prayer or protest.

The tower of balance plays with transparency, form and materials to provide a contemporary counterpoint to the three medieval stone towers. The open construction with three wooden platforms invites exploration, with vantage points facing the city centre, West Bruges and Sint-Michiels. Visitors can experience both the location and city from different perspectives.

A bronze bell, supported by two rough tree trunks, hangs at the centre of the work. By removing this object from its ivory tower and presenting it to the public, where it can be rung, the artist has managed to capture ‘the sound of Bruges’. The bell was manufactured by the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry, where the bells in the Belfry were once cast.

The installation’s name not only alludes to the site – a sloping stretch of grass on which the tower gracefully balances – but also, and more importantly, to Bangkok Project Studio’s pursuit of a harmonious coexistence for humans and animals; a place where social, cultural and economic distinctions blur and everyone feels welcome.

Tip: if you’re not keen on heights, why not peek inside St Godelieve’s Abbey instead? Just step through the historic garden gate, opened especially for the Bruges Triennial.

With support from Architectuuratelier Dertien12.

Boonserm Premthada Spaceshift Studio
© Spaceshift Studio

Bangkok Project Studio was established by Boonserm Premthada (b. 1966, Bangkok, TH) in 2003. It is now one of Thailand’s most influential architecture firms. Departing from a sustainable, holistic approach, his architecture bridges the historical and contemporary, human and natural, indoor and outdoor.

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