Architects' Client of the Year – The Bruges Diptych

In 2015, Bruges managed to secure the Triennale for itself. Since then, every three years, the UNESCO World Heritage City invites international architects and artists to transform the historic city centre with temporary installations into a unique parcours for contemporary architecture and art. The »Triennale Bruges 2021« was held under the overarching theme of »TraumA« and thus opted for a multidisciplinary discourse that goes beyond the overtly visible touristy and also dares to look into the more hidden and darker areas of a complex city. An approach as bold as it is fascinating that was interpreted in 13 architectural or artistic works. In this way, architectural, sculptural and organic works were created in various, at times unusual, locations throughout the city in order to enter into a dialogue with both their surroundings and the visitors and to invite them to rediscover and experience the historic centre of Bruges with its buildings, squares, alleys and waterways.

Statement of the jury

Among the 13 works selected for the »Bruges 2021 Triennial«, which can be admired in public spaces, is the »The Bruges Diptych« pavilion by American designer and architect Jon Lott, which surprises with a very special architectural peculiarity. Constructed entirely of wood and erected on pontoons in the canal, the building not only combines historical architecture with modern design language at a high design level. At the same time, it visually extends the façade of a historic townhouse across the canal, folding open spectacularly into two identical façades – like a two-part diptych. While this creates the impression from the outside that there are two houses, a completely different truth is revealed on the inside. With this exciting interplay between the world in front of a façade and what is hidden behind it, Lott succeeds in an intelligently solved interpretation of the Triennale 21 theme TraumA«. It is precisely such unique projects and installations, like the building created by Jon Lott, that fantastically extend the Triennale into public space making the internation-ally acclaimed art show even more attractive and relevant for visitors.

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