KONINKLIJKE VLAAMSE SCHOUWBURG (KVS) - ENVIRONS

 LOCATION 

Brussels, Belgium 

CLIENT

Ville de Bruxelles

PARTNERS 

-

ARTIST 

Wim Delvoye

PROJET

2004

CONSTRUCTION

2004 - 2007

AREA

11,300 sqm 

CONTEXT

public space

SETTING

City centre

Originally left with the remains of the previous street layout and a number of rather dilapidated brickwork structures and decrepit street furniture, the tree-lined central reservation between Quai aux Pierres de Taille and Quai au Foin has now become a public space of cultural, historic and aesthetic interest. It is a slender space 250 metres long and 25 metres wide, with an avenue of trees separating the streets in the central area, used for relaxation by residents and passers-by. At one end, this space connects rue de Laeken — with the building of the KVS theatre in the background — and at the other, a large junction opens onto the former inland port. This is an area of great diversity, both in terms of land use and from a social perspective. The KVS, which consists of two theatres, accommodating 200 and 504 people, respectively, a small private museum of Asian art, another public museum of Flemish life, and a bowling alley, attract audiences as large as they are varied. The headquarters of the De Standaard newspaper as well as new offices have given a new lease of life to what was once a run-down and dangerous area. Since its renovation, the public space has a pool of moving water some 50 metres long (evoking the previous inland port), next to the new square behind the old theatre. Along this pool, dolomitic limestone paths and benches form a space for leisure and relaxation. Further along, there is a dolomitic limestone esplanade and sandstone paving stones. This space is where artist Wim Delvoye's work has been erected. Next to this is a green space, crossed by more dolomitic limestone paths, with a playground for children and a pelota court for adults built in the grounds. Pyramid-shaped terraces are used by spectators at impromptu matches.