bruges 2002 has commissioned one of japan’s most innovative architects toyo ito to build a temporary pavilion at the brug. erected in the centre of bruges, surrounded by ancient buildings from the middle ages and located at the place of a demolished cathedral it required a discreet approach. therefore he came up with a very light structure making use of water, light and metal, evoking lightness and transparency.
the architect placed a 22-metre long bridge on a circular water surface with a radius of 11,5 metres. this u-shaped construction is measuring 15,4 metres long by 6,3 metres wide. the walls are perforated like a honeycomb and strengthened with oval areas.
surprisingly is the fact that some one from a totally different culture and historical background designed it. it proves us that art can be universal. it’s a result of years of passion to give architecture a totally new direction, just like his unquestionable masterpiece the mediatheque in sendai.
toyo ito had the barcelona pavilion in mind when he designed it. they both have a strong contemporary and innovative character and were used for a cultural manifestation. with his concept he tried to explore the borders of architecture and therefore stepped away of the characters of traditional buildings by using new materials and constructions allowing natural elements to play a part in his architecture. he calls it “blurring architecture”. a term used at the presentation of his work in the art centre of antwerp, desingel (2000).
the pavilion can be viewed from february till november 2002 in bruges (belgium), cultural capital of europe.