Until mid-September, the historic Belgian city of Bruges becomes a playground of public artworks and installations. The 2018 Bruges Triennial unites fifteen artists and architects under the theme of ‘Liquid City’, using water, which crosses and surrounds the city, as a metaphor for flexibility and resiliency at a time when nothing seems certain. Together, the meeting points, pavilions and artistic happenings form an open inviting trail that brings people together in unexpected places.
Spanish SelgasCano, led by architects José Selgas and Lucía Cano, decided to build their pavilion on the Coupure Canal, hoping for it to serve as a new sunbathing platform for swimmers.
The organic structure with pink, orange and yellow transparent vinyl walls lends colour to the water and forms an ideal spot to take rest. Although the canal is still navigable today and forms a link between the Ringvaart (outer canal system) and the city centre, the sluice gates here are, for the most part, kept closed. This floating pavilion is an ideal place for adults and children to wade in or venture a splash in the canals.
The waterproof fluorescent PVC has never been used in a building and was constructed on site in a completely hand-made process. A yellow wooden platform is attached to the installation, continuing the interactive experience by allowing visitors to jump into the canal for a swim.
The playfulness of the light and colours, as well as its ability to create interaction with the visitors, is a throwback to SelgasCano’s impressive portfolio, notably the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion. Showcased in London, the Serpentine was a playful render of the chaotic, London underground. The Bruges Trienniale Pavilion has an organic form, which mimics the surrounding water bodies.
Architects | Studio SelgasCano, Valencia, Spain
Location | Bruges, Belgium
Technical info | Fluorescent vinyl
Picture credits | Iwan Baan