Piovenefabi creates steel beam stage at Khost Festival

Architecture studio Piovenefabi used repurposed steel beams to create a circular stage for the 10th edition of the Horst Arts and Music Festival in Brussels.

The stage, titled “Ring,” is the latest in a series of installations added to the festival and designed to accommodate public reuse, taking place at Asia Park, a former military base in the Vilvoord neighborhood ,

Ring stage used during the Horst Festival
architecture studio Piovenefabi designs main stage for Khost Art and Music Festival

“Our aim is to leave something with a positive impact, rather than the negative impact that festivals often have,” Horst co-founder Matthias Stallens told Dezeen.

“We wanted to deal with the temporary building in a sustainable way by reusing materials, while also repurposing the music stage for different functions and communities.”

Open steel main stage installation for the Horst Festival in Brussels
The Ring City is an eight-meter-tall decagonal steel beam structure.

Designed to serve as this year’s main stage, the eight-meter-tall decagonal structure is composed of yellow steel beams from deconstructed on-site structures.

Using circular design techniques, Piovenefabi intends to repurpose the structure into a multi-purpose sports and leisure area after the festival.

People climb steel structures designed by architecture studio Piovenefabi
Steel beams were taken from demolished on-site structures

“The project salvaged all the structural elements of the existing structure and reassembled them into a new form,” Piovenefabi co-founder Ambra Fabi told Dezeen.

“Besides the yellow paint and some concrete foundations, the steel beams used were the only materials used to build the pavilion,” she continued.

“Our yellow ring marks a permeable threshold that defines inside and outside – you can decide to be in the center, completely surrounded by light and sound, or to stay outside.”

Platform around the Circular Stage in Brussels
The ring installation is surrounded by platforms and ziggurats.

The open steel structure is interspersed with a series of multi-level platforms towards the center of the space, designed to encourage interaction among festival-goers.

“The platform surrounding the installation is a podium and a ziggurats, recreating a new landscape,” said Fabi.

Belgium Horst water-saving cooler tower front steel structure
The ring is designed to be reused as a sports and leisure area after the festival

To transform the structure after the festival, the floors will be repainted and a basketball hoop and mirrors will be added to facilitate an array of entertaining.

“The idea of ​​converting the Ring into a public sports ground after the festival came about at the very beginning of the design process,” said Fabi.

“Our starting point was to imagine an object that could support both festive elements and recreational activities,” she continues.

“Once the playground is completed, these platforms will serve as grandstands and settings for play activities.”

Lights and speakers provided by Ring for Horst Arts and Music Festival
Piovenefabi aims to create a structure that supports festival infrastructure and future sporting events

Where in previous years the reuse of installations was often unintentional, the need has become an integral part of the design process, with members of the Horst team staying in touch with the local community throughout the year.

“Now we really want to start from the local needs and our connection and engagement with the community so that it’s right for them,” Starrens explained.

Construction of the main stage of the Horst Festival in Brussels
Volunteers from Horst Studio participated in the construction of the festival building

The structure was designed and built by participants of Horst Atelier, a program that brings together 40 young architects and designers to create new installations over the course of three weeks.

“Sustainability and reuse value are important, but another important principle is that structures can be built by non-professional builders,” says Horst’s Starrens.

Piovenefabi retrofits yellow steel beams for Horst
Materials were chosen with future deconstruction and reuse in mind

Future ring deconstruction is also considered when looking towards the end of the structure’s service life.

“The ring is designed to be easily deconstructed – the most important thing to ensure the reuse of the material is that it is non-glued and removable,” Stallens describes.

“With wood and steel, you can screw and bolt it and it’s easy to do – we build most stages so you can take them down later without even knowing what you’re going to do with it. ” he added.

Next year, the Horst Academy of Arts and Music plans to build a pedestrian bridge designed by Counterspace founder Sumayya Vally.

Other recent festival installations launched by Dezeen include a series of fabric mushrooms designed by Do Lab for the Coachella stage, and a pavilion made from recycled wood and mycelium for Glastonbury Festival 2023.

Photography courtesy of Horst Arts & Music.

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