under the driving force of gerard mortier the competition for a building for dance and theatre was launched. forum, how the project is named should give a space and a location to contemporary performance arts in the city of gent. the project resulted in a collaboration of toyo ito & associates and andrea branzi.
the design is made out of a continuous vertical and horizontal system that reminds us of caves. this unity forms an acoustic labyrinth with a never before seen spatial atmosphere. by opening or closing several acoustical walls a diversity of spaces can be created; allowing the configuration of different sound caves. by this the buildings is able to transform itself for the specific needs of a concert. one can even think further; the building and its geometry might have such an impact on the music that it might be the cause of something new.
this inner mechanism of the whole system is being exposed to the outer world through a transparent facade. the glass skin emphasizes the verticality, as the strings of a warp. the design has a playful, rhythmic, and harmonious character.
of all three final selected designs the one by toyo ito and andrea branzi didnít got selected. the opportunity to create something innovating was one again not taken. instead the design by neutelings-riedijk won the competition.