Atelier Kempe Thill has recently won the invited international competition for the transformation of Wintercircus Mahy in Ghent. The building that served as a circus building until the early 20th century and later as garage and showroom for the enormous oldtimer collection of car dealer G. Mahy will be transformed into a meeting-point and hotspot for creation and innovation. The new centre will house the ViAA (Flemish Institute for Archive of the audio-visual heritage), Luisterpunt – a library for blind people, i-Cubes – a centre for starting ICT – firms and, a new medium – size rock concert hall that will be constructed under the main atrium space. The renovation of the building is part of the transformation of the Waalse Krook-neighbourhood in the centre of Ghent together with the new library and living lab for new media that is already under construction.
The building will be restored with only a minimum of technically necessary changes respecting its rich history and its raw appearance. The huge atrium – the actual former circus – will be kept in all its generosity and openness. To use the space in various ways and to stage events in a theatrical way the atrium will be provided the “Magic Curtain” - a set of large scale projection curtains. They offer the possibility to darken the space and arrange beamer projections in different settings for different events.
Various technical improvements will be realized to adapt the building to new low-energy, climate and acoustical standards.