UTOPIA in Aalst now open for public
After almost two years of construction, Utopia Library and Academy for Performing Arts in Aalst has finally opened its doors to the public on Thursday, 21 June 2018.
More than 25 000 visitors gathered for the opening festivities spanning over 4 days (21-24 June) where they participated in concerts, workshops and dance performances. Official presentations took place on Friday, 22 June, with speeches from representatives of the Aalst city council, Utopia board of directors, KAAN Architecten and Aalst mayor.
Following a competition in 2015, the Aalst city council chose to establish a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) based on a Design & Build contract. The project was assigned to a team consisting of Van Roey as main contractor and KAAN Architecten as architect, working in close collaboration throughout the whole project development and construction.
This new cultural landmark for the city incorporates a striking historic building from the second half of the 19th century and rejuvenates the urban landscape while elegantly giving expression to the required functionality. The desire of KAAN Architecten to interact with the urban fabric has been achieved: Utopia is already a reference point in Aalst city center, with citizens eager to enjoy and welcome a new landmark in their everyday lives.