The international BredaPhoto Festival, to be held from 5 September through 21 October, features a temporary exhibition pavilion designed by the Rotterdam-based firm of architects MVRDV. Everyone is working hard to prepare for the opening in a few days time. 'It should actually have been ready by now.'

The activities have reached fever pitch in the former Breda Museum, where the organisers of BredaPhoto have set up their temporary headquarters. With only a few days to go before the international photo festival opens in this city in Brabant, all the volunteers are doing their utmost to prepare the 15 indoor and outdoor exhibition locations on time. 

XXL photos

For many years, the beating heart of the biennial festival has been the Chassé Promenade, just a stone's throw from the temporary headquarters. In recent years, this large square behind the Chassé Theatre was home to lofty scaffolding constructions bearing life-size photos. These XXL photos have become iconic for BredaPhoto. 'But we want to continue to surprise our visitors,' explains Jan Schaerlackens, one of the curators of the photo festival. 'That's why the large photos will be placed in a temporary exhibition pavilion this year, designed by the Rotterdam-based firm of architects MVRDV.'

De trap

Schaerlackens considers it perfectly natural that BredaPhoto has devised an architectonic solution. ‘The Chassé Park, the residential neighbourhood in which the Chassé Promenade is located, was developed according to a campus plan by architect Rem Koolhaas. That's why we liked the idea of inviting an architect to find a solution. MVRDV immediately came to mind, as they were responsible for designing the temporary construction known as De Trap (the staircase) at Rotterdam Central Station in 2016, which was a real crowd-puller.'

Artist's impression of the temporary photo exhibition pavilion. (illustration: MVRDV)


Linear pattern

The exhibition pavilion designed by MVRDV for BredaPhoto is entitled The Infinity Path. 'At the top of a scaffolding structure, there is an 'endless' path, roughly in the shape of a lemniscate, otherwise known as the symbol for infinity. Visitors can walk either on the elevated walkway or underneath it to view the XXL photos from above or below.

Wooden beams are added to the scaffolding structure, as the basis for the walkway. (photo: Ron Magielse)

The construction is around 500 metres long, with its height varying from 0 to 6 metres. The MVRDV design adds a third dimension to the linear pattern of the original design of the square, created by Bureau West 8 landscape architects. 'The triangular linear pattern is raised and rendered visible as it were.'

White shrink-wrap

Scaffolding specialist Dutch Steigers has been contracted to build the pavilion. 'It's a fun construction kit just like a big Meccano box,' says Schaerlackens. 'It's a great system, relatively inexpensive and quick to build. Wooden cross-beams are added to the scaffolding construction, as the basis for the wooden walkway. We actually also wanted wooden walls along the path, but ran out of budget. After consulting with the architect, the walls have now been created using white shrink-wrap. Slightly less attractive, but the shrink-wrap actually works well with the somewhat rough basic construction.'

The wooden walkway will have white shrink-wrap walls. (photo: Ron Magielse)

Dutch Steigers began building the scaffolding on 10 August. 'The construction should have been finished by now, but a minor setback caused a delay.' However, Schaerlackens is not at all worried. 'We'll certainly have completed the pavilion before the opening on 5 September.'

The Infinity Path pavilion can be visited free of charge during BredaPhoto, from Wednesday 5 September through Sunday 21 October.

If you found this article interesting, subscribe for free to our weekly newsletter!

Opening photo: Ron Magielse

Vond je dit een interessant artikel, abonneer je dan gratis op onze wekelijkse nieuwsbrief.