This October Flanders & the Netherlands hosted the guest of honour pavilion for the world’s most important literary event; the Frankfurter Buchmesse. The studios CIVIC & MATTERS of The Cloud Collective where selected to design and execute the focal point of the event: a central literature salon.
The pavilion celebrates authors and literature foremost, but also cultural context and cross-over arts are given a podium. Functions in the pavilion exceed the book alone, and are grouped around the narrative in a broader sense. There are theatre and debate spaces, several exhibitions, a graphic studio, virtual reality spaces, a bookshop, café and salon coming together in the 2.300 m2 pavilion. All active program is clustered evoking new connections.
Sensory space However made of temporary and low cost material, different routes through the pavilion offer a powerful sensory experience. The semitransparent walls are made by stacking simple plastic sheets in an inventive way, creating a kaleidoscopic effect when passing by. The clever engineering made sure that after the event the walls are completely demountable and reusable.
The floor is made off clay stone to increase the sensory experience by movement. The open space is fringed by a slow-dynamic projection of the horizon. This way, like in the Dutch landscapes, the horizon plays an omnipresent role. The process of fine-tuning these experiences was created by using several prototypes.
Contextual exhibition typology The contextual approach for the programmatic scheme, is also present in the spatial design. The dense zone and the spacious salon relate to the metropolitan landscape of the Low Lands. Separated by semi transparent walls, the different programmatic elements are allowed to influence each other, so the visitor is invited to understand the relationship. The largest space of the pavilion is a spacious room used to contemplate, sit, walk, and read. This combination of the open vistas and calmness on the one hand and the density, interference and proximity on the other hand creates a specific Flemish-Dutch exposition typology.
De Frankfurter Buchmesse took place from 18 until 23 October 2016.