Sophisticated concert hall in a centuries-old monument
Placing a renovated, contemporary concert hall within the historic context of a thirteenth-century monument – in fact one of the first brickwork constructions to be built in Belgium – proved to be quite a feat of engineering. An inspection of the existing roof construction of Music Centre De Bijloke in Ghent indicated that it could not support the additional load of the new fly system. The challenge was therefore to design an additional supporting structure that would be concealed from view in amongst the existing roof structure. Two steel bowstring trusses measuring around 16 m in length and 5 m in height were placed between the historic wooden arches, and connected by means of box sections to which the fly system was attached. All the curves are aligned and centred on the axis of the new hall. Importantly, the subtle steel construction can be removed at a later date if required, without damaging the protected monument.