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Architecture Workroom
Brussels

Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial Edition 2018— Rising Waters

The second edition of the Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial (BULB) aims to sensitize the broad public to the importance of water and its related cycles in the urban landscape through workshops, learning by doing activities, an exhibition, a day of symposium, curated walks and lectures.

In this context the exhibition Rising Waters – Shaping Our Gardens, Street And Urban Valleys, curated by Joachim Declerck (Architecture Workroom Brussels), is held at the Palais des Beaux-Arts. It is a collaboration between Architecture Workroom Brussels, BOZAR, Bureau Bas Smets, Latitude Platform, JNC International, and Taktyk. With the participation of the artists Christian Barani, Andrea Caretto & Raffaella Spagna, Gauthier Oushoorn and Superflex.

LOOP Studio (Alexis Jacob & Nicolas Storck)

Water turns this 'blue' planet into a unique and liveable ecosystem, especially for humans. But it also represents one of the biggest and most visible threats: there is too little, too much and too polluted water. With global warming, the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall and periods of drought increases, like this summer. This requires a transformation of our cities and landscapes to ensure they can cope with those extreme fluctuations in rainfall and temperature. The task is essentially simple: we have to make room for water throughout the city. A city like Brussels, built over brook valleys and the marsh of the Senne, must once again be able to work like a 'sponge'. By slowing the drainage of water and allowing more water to infiltrate into the soil, we avoid heavy rainfall leading to flooding, and we provide a reservoir in periods of drought.

As with the transition to renewable energy or to a circular economy, it is much easier to formulate and decide what needs to be done than to actually implement it. We have come to live in the illusion that there will always be an additional technological or infrastructural solution, and we therefore do not have to adjust our living environment and lifestyle to respond to major changes and challenges. Today, it is clear that the space needed for a healthy and resilient water system can only be made in places where we now have gardens, streets, parking lots, squares and parks. There is no other space. The transition to a water-sensitive city therefore requires a new generation of street, neighbourhood and urban projects, for which vision, examples and forms of cooperation must be developed and tested in practice. 

A biennial is ideal for making cultural change possible. From Rotterdam to Bordeaux, and more and more explicitly in Brussels, biennials for architecture, urban design and landscape present themselves as workshops to develop new visions and projects, and as forums for social debate and coalition building around the future of the city. As engaged cultural free spaces, they push forward policy, practice and civil society. For example, this exhibition does not present a best of existing projects concerning city and water. During the summer 2018, Atelier BULB invited four renowned Brussels landscape design offices to explore which new urban water projects are necessary and possible. Their vision and proposals to prepare the Brussels valleys, neighbourhoods and streets for the changing climate, form the core of this exhibition. Along with international reference projects, works of art, graphic material, and documentation of current policies and projects, they create a narrative and agenda for the future. More than just a retrospect, Rising Waters offers a preview and a call to action.

http://www.bulb.brussels/

Co-production: BULB, BOZAR, Leefmilieu Brussel - Bruxelles environnement
Partners: FBU- Fédération Bruxelloise de l’Urbanisme
Collaboration: Architecture Workroom Brussels, Bureau Bas SmetsJNC InternationalLatitude PlatformTaktyk

LOCATION

BOZAR/Centre for Fine Arts

Rue Ravensteinstraat 23, 1000 Brussels

21 September '18 - 11 November'18

Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 9 pm

Free entrance

More

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Vacancy— Interim Communication & Documentation support (m/v)
Vacancy— Reception & logistics assistant (m/f)
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Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial Edition 2018— Rising Waters
With structural support from the Flemish government and regular support from the Brussels capital region and other regional and local governments.