If the past is indeed prologue as the great Shakespeare wrote, then the way a society treats its historic structures should foretell something about the way it will build its future.
In keeping with this principle, those who participated in a recent online event organized by the Belgian Building Research Institute to discuss the direction of their industry should be very positive about what lay ahead. The very site where the event was recorded provided them with plenty of good reasons to be optimistic.
That site was Gare Maritime, a 114-year old former railroad freight station that has been transformed into a modern 40,000 square meter mixed-use, environmentally sustainable, urban hub with integrated work and event spaces, retail stores and a food hall.
Within the building was a transparent dome where the actual video production took place. Suggested by D-Dream to client AV Image, the sleek structure projects a smart, forward-looking image that reflects well on the theme of the online event.
Contributing to the futuristic aura of the dome are four Maverick MK2 Profile and 28 ÉPIX Strip IP fixtures from CHAUVET Professional. Used for studio lighting, the profile units created a camera-friendly environment, while the RGB strips accentuated the geometric features of the dome itself.
“Consulting with their client AV Image, the D-Dream team made four décor pieces — three large, one small — in a hexagonal shape. (The Belgian Building Research Institute’s logo is a hexagonal sphere constructed with different pentagons.)
“In the largest decorative hexagon, which measures 3-meters, we incorporated a TV screen,” said D-Dream’s operational manager Elke Scheirs. “The three smaller (1.5-meter) structures, represented the three pillars of the BBRI’s ambitions for 2025: a focus on the professional constructor, the opportunities of going green in construction, and ‘Construction 4.0,’ which is the key to the future with digitalization in construction.”
Drawing on the colour-rendering capabilities of the Maverick and ÉPIX fixtures, the D-Dream team wove BBRI’s turquoise and orange brand colours into their design. “We reflect the shape and colour of the BBRI into each structure,” said Scheirs, who notes that, true to the spirit of innovative design, the distinctive domed structures were born out of necessity.
“Because the hall of Gare Maritime is a big open space, and it was cold outside, we had to come up with a way for the people involved in the event to stay warm,” she said. “Therefore, we built a dome around the set-up so it could be heated. However, it ended up being a very beautiful addition.”
In terms of Gare Maritime serving as the venue for the online event, Scheirs tells why she believes it was an excellent choice by AV Image. “They selected this building because it’s a beautiful site to begin with, but beyond that it is also a wonderful example of circular economics, taking something and giving it a vibrant new life.”
As the event Scheirs described clearly demonstrated, a building that served the community well in the last century, has been reinvented to make life better in this one – another example of the past being prologue!