Construction work has begun for a new €40,000,000 trade fair and convention centre in Bruges.
Built with reclaimed bricks, the new venue will be located in the centre of the Unesco World Heritage City, within easy walking distance from most hotels and sights. It will open its doors at the end of 2021.
The city’s mayor, Dirk De fauw, said: "The facilities will be top-notch, which will allow us to position Bruges as a top destination for conferences."
Sliding glass doors and a natural daylight roof will light a 4,500 square-metre hall with capacity for up to 500 delegates.
There will also be a plenary hall with 500 retractable seats, a large foyer, poster areas, eight break-out rooms and a catering area on the top floor with views over the city.
Meeting in Bruge’s sales manager Sarah Cornand, said: "All rooms can be used in flexible formats in order to respond optimally to the specific wishes of organisers. The ingenious architecture ensures a smooth logistical flow, even when several events take place simultaneously."
The design for the new venue was the result of a collaboration between META Architectuurbureau, developer CFE and renowned Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura.
Known for his simple, stylish and modernist style, Souto de Moura received the prestigious Pritzker architecture prize from Barack Obama in 2011.
Alderman of Tourism, Philip Pierins, said: "The design shows respect for the city in that it allows Bruges to remain true to itself. The architecture is plain but very functional, supporting the needs of the users."
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