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.