Perched on the Esplanade de la Citadelle in Namur, Le Pavillon is an exhibition, experimentation and innovation centre that blurs the boundaries between disciplines and simultaneously encompasses the arts, science and technology. Drawing on its uniqueness, Le Pavillon invites visitors to savour a new experience.
What is the rationale for this interdisciplinary meeting place, with its wealth of new technologies? To offer a programme that is both demanding and accessible to all. To give the public the tools to grasp the impact of technological innovations on our society. But also to open up new perspectives, question our narrow understanding, elicit emotions, prompt reflection, and dazzle the senses. All in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Le Pavillon hosts temporary exhibitions, conferences, workshops, courses and performances.
Despite looking a little like a space station, Le Pavillon does not come from Mars but from Milan. And to be more specific, from the imagination of Patrick Genard, an architect from Namur based in Barcelona.
“We imagined the Belgian pavilion in the shape of a lobe city. In reaction to the concentric growth of cities, which is seen as suffocating, the lobe layout advocates the construction of a series of neighbourhoods around the heart of the city, separated by green fingers. These neighbourhoods are independent but interconnected. This circular structure, already adopted by Berlin, Copenhagen, and Aalst, is the most eco-sustainable because it limits travel, enables a better circulation of energy flows, and reduces costs,” explains Patrick Genard.
Thanks to its sustainability and energy performance, this eco-design building is a powerful architectural symbol and is considered as one of the most successful of the 53 pavilions designed for the Milan World Expo. Its appearance has also been designed to pay tribute to the history of Belgium. Its long corridor brings to mind the farms of the Ardennes, while the dome is a reference to the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken.
Following the World Expo, the national pavilions should be dismantled and their environmental impact should be minimised by reusing the structure or its materials. Belgium has complied with this wish since the Municipality of Namur acquired the removable structure and entrusted KIKK with its management so that it could become a venue for exploring digital cultures.
In early 2019, work started on the reconstruction of Le Pavillon on Esplanade de la Citadelle. One year and one pandemic later, the venue was opened to the public with a first exhibition: Humans / Machines. The adventure could begin.
Le Pavillon is a project led by KIKK
Since 2011, the non-profit organisation KIKK, based in Namur, has been destroying codes and helping to place the Walloon capital at the forefront of the creative and digital industries. The enthusiasm of its team and the hunger of its ingenious dreamers for new projects is always a triumph. Proof of this is that in the space of 10 years, KIKK succeeded in creating an international festival devoted to creative and digital cultures (the KIKK Festival), a fablab and medialab, and a creative hub (the TRAKK), a platform for artistic production and multimedia content, as well as a new exhibition and experimentation space for digital cultures open to all (Le Pavillon).