Atelier Kempe Thill wins competition for the transformation of The Wintercircus Mahy
Atelier Kempe Thill has recently won an invited international competition for the transformation of Wintercircus Mahy in Ghent. The building served as a circus building until the early 20th century and later as a garage and showroom for the enormous old timer collection of car dealer G. Mahy. The design will transform into a meeting-point and hotspot for creation and innovation.
The renovation of the building is part of the transformation of the Waalse Krook-neighbourhood in the centre of Ghent. 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. together with the new library and living lab for new media that is already under construction.
The building will be restored with minimal of changes in order to preserve its rich historical aesthetic and raw appearance. The huge atrium which used to house the former circus will be kept in all its generosity and openness.
The design of a 'Magic Curtain' - a set of large scale projection curtains enables the space to be used in multiple ways, catering for a diverse program of events. A theatrical environment can be achieved where the curtains darken and shape the space. In addition an arrangement of beamer projections can be created for different events. Various technical improvements have been introduced into the design to adapt the building to new low-energy, climate and acoustical standards.