Kunstenfestivaldesarts takes place in May in Brussels each year. This year, SHSH won the competition to design the Festival Centre in 2012. A collaboration between KFDA and SHSH, The layout took place in the former Magasins Vanderborght, a large, empty, unoccupied space in the centre of Brussels. It provided an area for festival celebrations, with the ticket office, a white, open unit with ivy seeping from above and dim lighting illuminating the space to invite the public in. The bar began from this space, and continued in a linear fashion into the larger spaces behind the ticket box, giving the impression that it continued through the glass. In this larger space the bar created space for DJ's, and the serving of both food and drinks. The seating continued the linear design, with large tables designed to encourage interaction between individuals and groups and develop a sense of community between festival goers.
SHSH has been actively following movements to reconstruct Japan after last year's Tsunami by setting up Actforjapan.be and voluntarily supporting the Japanese Institute of Architects from Miyagi Prefecture. This project reflects on what was left after the Tsunami. In a literal sense, debris was paramount. What was also left was an empowering sense of community, and hope for the future. A simple plant represents this, as does a space that unites people who gather alone or in a group, without imposing this conjunction.
The layout of the bar and linear seating was influenced by a traditional Japanese bar or restaurant, and aimed to allow for the many visitors of the space to find a place to be throughout the festival, encouraging exchanges and encounters between the users of the space.
Without wanting to reproduce a post-311 atmosphere, but keeping in mind the consequences on the victims' everyday life, the design of SHSH offers life's basic delights during the festival in homage to Japan: the pleasure of sharing a meal, a cultural activity or a moment of relaxation. The challenge here is to create a place which makes people want to stay and return. This was achieved within the festival centre through a community orientated sustainable design approach.
Following sustainable design concepts and the active reuse of local materials, the layout of the centre utilized warm unfinished timber and many transportation pallets were provided seating and bases for plants. The space, filled with greenery, used nature to provide colour and texture. Many of these plants were generously donated by the public and will be given a second home.
Client : Kunstenfestivaldesarts
Place : Brussels, Be
Scenography : Shizuka Hariu / SHSH
Lighting : Shizuka Hariu / SHSH
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