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© André Verstraeten

Five teams of architects in competition for the Kaaitheater makeover

​Together with the Flemish and Brussels Government Architects and with the departments of the Flemish Government, the Kaaitheater has appointed five design offices that will take part in a competition for the final design for a contemporary and high-performance theatre infrastructure for the existing Kaaitheater in the Canal Zone next to KANAL – Centre Pompidou. This is what Flemish Minister of Culture Sven Gatz announced today.

The assignment for the architects is to design a second auditorium for dance, to create new rehearsal studios, and to renovate the current main auditorium. The master plan, including study costs, is estimated at 21.5 million euro.

Thanks to an agreement between KANAL and the Kaaitheater on the loading and unloading quay, which is situated in the old boiler room of the Citroën garage, the KANAL boiler room will become the property of the Kaaitheater, and a part of the wings on the prompt side of the Kaai stage will be transferred to KANAL. This will make it possible to create a new main entrance for the Kaaitheater.


Minister of Culture Sven Gatz: ‘This will solve the Kaaitheater’s logistical problem and extra space will also be created for the necessary expansion of the new auditorium and rehearsal studios. This makes it possible to transform the Kaaitheater into a fully fledged contemporary theatre infrastructure in an environment that, with the KANAL Museum, will quickly appeal to the imagination as a new asset for the neighbourhood and the entire city. In order to stimulate this symbiosis, agreements were also reached about the architectural connection of the buildings, which will make future collaborations possible.’

A selection committee has appointed five teams to submit a proposal to transform the Kaaitheater after the Open Call of the Flemish Government Architect of 18 January. The Brussels Government Architect will also follow closely the decision-making procedure. The selection committee has chosen the following design teams out of 45 applicants:


 Alan Baxter LTD, Assemble Studio, Czvek Rigby
 BRUTHER architectes, OUEST architecture
 CRIT./Peter Swinnen, NU architectuuratelier
 360 architecten, Bulk architecten
 aaa-architectuuratelier ambiorix


The teams have already received their first briefing. They will present their first draft design in September. The winner will be designated by the next Flemish Government, on the recommendation of a seven-member jury with representatives of the Flemish Government, the Kaaitheater, the Team Flemish Government Architect, the BMA (Brussels Government Architect) and an independent expert.


The work will start at the earliest in 2022. The activities of the Kaaitheater will take place at an alternative location, at least during some of the work.