A Podium for Brussels

In the beginning of May the new arts centre Kanal-Centre Pompidou opened its doors for 400 days. Under the wings of curator Pompidou-Paris the current project will develop into a Museum for Modern and Contemporary art, a center of architecture and a public space for culture, education and recreation. The former Citroën garage that houses Kanal has 35,000 m² of exhibitions space; a great showcase for Brussels!

Things are happening in Brussels: the iconic Citroën garage is becoming a new hot spot for art and culture. The building dates from the early 1930s and was designed by architects Alexis Dumont and Marcel Van Goethem, who also played a role in organizing Expo 58. The City of Brussels bought the garage and held an architecture competition, linked to the building, with the aim to create and arts center where all aspects of culture are represented. Under de direction of Swiss architect Roger Diener who was appointed president of the jury, the competitors could present a project to give the space a functional, educational and recreational purpose. 92 architects sent in their projects. In the end, a group of seven finalists remained, and ‘Een podium voor Brussel’ was unanimously chosen as the winner. This project is a collaboration between Brussels, Swiss and London architects.

Kanal- Centre Pomidou opened its doors on May 5 with the exhibition Kanal Brut, launched with a marathon opening event that lasted 32 hours. It shows works by, amongst others, Alexander Calder, Jean Prouvé, Marcel Broodthaers, Toyo Ito and Francis Alÿs . In the coming months, Kanal will show various other exhibitions, large installations and some ten works by Brussels artists that have never been seen before. Apart from that, all sorts of performing arts can be seen. In this way, a collection will be put together for the future Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art that will be part of the arts center.For a complete summary of all exhibitions and performances see www.kanal.brussels

New arts centre Kanal-Centre Pompidou.

Left: from the exhibition The Site Of Film, untitled (to Donna) 5 by Dan Flavin
Right: from the exhibition Object : Administration, Le corbeau et le renard, 1968 Marcel Broodthaers.

The winning proposal for Brussels Pompidou Centre designed by Sergison Bates, EM2N and noAarchitecten – interior.

Close up from Pao II: A Dwellings for the Tokyo Nomad Women by Toyo Ito.

Auditorium, 1992 by Franz West.

Untitled (Time Zones) by Raffaella Crispino.

Maison tropicale, Brazzaville prototype, 1953 by Jean Prouvé

WORDS BY STEPHANIE DE SMET
PICTURES BY KANAL CENTRE POMPIDOU & BRUZZ