Vooruit Verbouwt

Vooruit’s Renovation Masterplan

In 2017 Vooruit entered the final phase of its big Renovation Masterplan. The construction of our new entrance area, new artist’s studios and technical storage area is now in full swing. It’s all to make sure that Vooruit has a proper place where we can receive visitors and artists, now and in the future.

As a visitor you’ll notice in the coming season that there’s a lot going on both in and around Vooruit. This means you’ll sometimes be asked to take an alternative route to reach the desired space. Certain productions will even be moved to an alternate location. But don’t panic, we’ll provide clear signage in such cases and make sure you’re informed in good time. The renovations have led to our ticket desk being moved temporarily to the reception area. This temporary location can be reached via the corridor that leads to the Theaterzaal. We have indicated this clearly with signs.

A new look for Vooruit

In previous phases we built the Vooruit Terrace and the bike shelter next to the Café (2012-2013), future-proofed the Concertzaal and entrance area (2015) and gave the former COOP supermarket – renamed to the Groene Coop – a new function as a workspace for all ancillary services (2014-2015). This last phase, which began in 2017, won’t go by unnoticed, either. We’ll be tackling some key areas.

A new entrance area

Vooruit is a hive of activity: over 350,00 visitors pass through its doors every year, suppliers deliver and collect goods every week, and theatre companies move in and out with their productions. For us it’s important that everyone continues to feel welcome at Vooruit, and that as a visitor you can find your way around without difficulty. It’s also crucial that our suppliers, artists and employees can work in a safe and unhindered manner.

So, what are the specific plans for the entrance area? First and foremost, the space will be made much wider, larger and more pleasant to be in. The ticket desk is also receiving a serious makeover, with a mind to improving the quality of service even more. Finally, the former candy store to the left of Vooruit will be incorporated in the refurbished entrance area. This space will also be home to a number of new studios for artists.

New studios for residents

Over the years Vooruit has given many artists and companies a peaceful place in which to tinker on new projects. Now, with the renovations, we are responding to a cry from the artistic field for more maker’s studios for residencies.

On the ground floor and first floor we are building an Open Atelier and new studios. This will allow Vooruit to continue to provide artists with proper support. The Candy Store will become an integral part of these new residency spaces, with a number of brand-new studios being the crowning achievement. The spaces will be utilised in a flexible manner for a diverse range of activities: as development and rehearsal spaces for artists, as exhibition spaces and as locations for workshops.

Nieuwe trekkenwand

De podiumtechnische hijsinstallatie op de scène van de Theaterzaal is afgelopen zomer volledig geautomatiseerd. Het publiek merkt daar niet zo erg veel van, maar voor de technische ploeg van de artiesten en van Vooruit betekenen de nieuwe trekken een fantastische stap voorwaarts: ze zijn veel veiliger en makkelijker te besturen dan de oude. Voor wie zich afvraagt wat een trekkenwand doet, het is de machinerie die ervoor zorgt dat decor of belichting boven de scene kan gehangen worden.

Voor wie van cijfers houdt: de installatie bestaat uit 43 trekken boven de scene, 2 zijtrekken en 2 trekken boven de voorscene. Elke trek kreeg een aparte motor. Elke 25 cm is een trek voorzien. De trekken kunnen een heflast van 300 kg aan en de snelheid per trek wordt gelimiteerd op 1.2m/s. 

More technical storage space

Vooruit has a rich artistic history and has now started giving an increasing number of large productions space both on and off our stages. All these productions also demand a considerable degree of technical support. There is an urgent need for new storage space in order to ensure the careful handling of equipment. During these renovations we will therefore create a number of new technical storage spaces that meet today’s safety standards. In this way, employees, suppliers and theatre companies can work even more safely and smoothly.

A more sustainable Vooruit

It’s no secret that sustainability is high on our agenda at Vooruit. That’s why during these renovations we have opted for eco-friendly solutions that limit our CO2 footprint.

What are we doing, exactly?

  • We’re opting for LED lighting everywhere.
  • Once renovated, the Candy Store will be a nearly zero-energy building (NZEB). The main façade and the façade of the Candy Store will serve as a climate-control buffer. We’ll use the sun as a boiler to heat up the air and distribute it throughout the Candy Store. The eco-friendly façades in turn serve to purify the air.
  • In the basement we will once again install a rainwater reservoir and use this water for flushing the toilets and filling the eco-friendly façades of the Candy Store.
  • We will divide up the building more logically, too: all facilities for artists will be located at the front of the building.

Would you like to know more about our renovation plans? We’ll be happy to share the latest updates with you via this page, email newsletters and social media. If you have any questions or comments for us, please get in contact by sending an email to verbouwen@vooruit.be or just drop by. 

Vooruit’s Renovation Masterplan has been made possible thanks in part to the Flemish Government’s Cultural Infrastructure Fund and the City of Ghent, and was designed by Dial Architects / Geert Pauwels.


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