This summer the Bruges Pre-Triennial 2020 is launching an open PLATFORM

From 10 July to 13 September, the Bruges Pre-Triennial will be setting up camp in Sint-Michiels with PLATFORM, a brand new exhibition pavilion designed by students of Applied Architecture from Howest (West-Flanders University College), in which a series of Bruges-linked guests will be given carte blanche.

After a successful summer, brimming with exciting encounters in and around the Royal City Theatre in 2019, it is now time for something new. The 2020 Pre-Triennial is therefore moving out to Sint-Michiels. And not only that, together with Howest, it is also building a new temporary pavilion that will spread the spell of the Bruges Triennial 2021: TraumA and keep us enchanted for a full nine weeks.

Under the title PLATFORM, the Pre-Triennial will offer artists and designers who were born, live or work in Bruges an open showcase. These nine guests* will each be given the pavilion for one week: either to use as an exhibition space, or as a place to work and/or experiment. Once there, they – and any collaborating colleagues – will be given free rein. Architecture, painting, graphics, sculpture… a variety of disciplines will be featured, and these will transport us into a multitude of narratives. Intriguing innovations with a Bruges tint. No two weeks will be the same.

Innovation lies in the unexpected. This summer, during the Bruges Pre-Triennial 2020, we will be relinquishing control and eagerly watching how artists and designers appropriate the space. For the public and for us it will be a surprising programme, with room for both experimentation and tradition.

A beacon in Sint-Michiels

The design of the installation is the result of an intense collaboration with Howest’s Department of Applied Architecture. Eleven of its undergraduates took on the challenge of designing a circular exhibition pavilion that could be of significance not only this summer, but also in the future.

With this ​​sustainability in mind, the students decided to begin with an existing basic form: three cubic masses, constructed from dilapidated sea containers. These are fully integrated into the design and are connected to each other in an ingenious way that creates a maximum of free space inside: an empty canvas.

In the Bruges Pre-Triennial 2020 we are shifting attention to the boroughs, with Sint-Michiels as the front runner. The city council is proud that local talent is playing the leading role in this – even designing the set, which will be developed into a summer hotspot together with the Bruges Triennial. It proves yet again that we, as a city, have a great deal to offer.

Dirk De fauw, Mayor of Bruges

The PLATFORM will be a beacon in the borough: a subtle reference to the nearby Howest campus and to the theme of the Bruges Triennial 2021: TraumA. Through the maximum recycling of materials and a spatial interplay of transparent and closed surfaces, the students will highlight the duality of the theme. The beacon as such will also be visible: the composition will be crowned with a translucent storey that filters daylight by day and makes the centre light up in the evening. For a time the greenery in front of Sint-Michiels’ former town hall Castle Bloemenoord will become a place for encounters, reflection and cross-pollination. It will set the tone and make us long for more.

The Bruges Pre-Triennial 2020 opens on Friday 10 July and ends the summer in fitting splendour, along with the Heritage Day Flanders, on Sunday 13 September.


― In collaboration with Howest.

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