Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale) surfaces in Utrecht

Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale) has arrived in Utrecht. Last summer this StudioKCA installation was an eye-catcher during the Bruges Triennial 2018: Liquid City. It will now be on show again from Friday, 18 January in the Catharijnesingel in Utrecht. The Bruges Triennial is lending the Whale to Utrecht University, which is using it to help keep the debate about the pollution of our rivers, seas and oceans alive. Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale) will stay in the Netherlands until June, after which it leaves in search of fresh waters.

© Robert Oosterbroek

Professor of European and National Water Law and programme leader of the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law Marleen van Rijswick spotted Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale) in Bruges last year, during a conference on sustainability. She immediately contacted the Bruges Triennial to enquire about bringing this StudioKCA installation to Utrecht. With the Bruges Whale as an eye-catcher, Utrecht University and its campaign partners want to focus attention on the consequences of water pollution. Via a series of public events, they will then share their knowledge about rivers, seas and oceans and illustrate how water can be managed sustainably.


Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale) was created for the Bruges Triennial by New-York-based architecture and design firm StudioKCA. It is 11 metres tall and is made from five tons of plastic waste gathered from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Together with volunteers from the Hawaii Wildlife Fund and the Surfrider Foundation, StudioKCA scoured the beaches of Hawaii, for instance, to gather material. Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)was then built from this plastic waste. With this installation, StudioKCA founders Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang want to draw attention to theplastic waste swimming in our waters – a worldwide problem that affects us all – and make viewers aware that individual action is also required.


Interview with StudioKCA


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In the summer of 2019, fortnightly Sunday discussions of four key concepts will be held with artists, architects, writers, performers, organisers and policy makers from various sectors. Under the title Encounter with, each of these events will follow a fixed formula: in the morning the input of three guest speakers will spark a discussion and this will be followed in the afternoon by a structured organised activity.