Removal and demolition, excavation and draining: they’re all activities with a negative connotation. You break down, you take something away – it has to be done – but that stage is over now. We can now start building again.

foto: www.philipdriessen.com

This is evident from the droves of steel workers populating the building site. They’re making the steel reinforcements for the concrete structure housing our cinemas, and the amount of reinforcement is impressive. This must be done according to new European directives, which means a lot of steel – huge amounts of steel. So much steel that the grain size of the gravel in the concrete had to be adjusted. Otherwise, the concrete will not flow between the steel bars and iron! And that’s with a floor thickness of almost one and a half meters. The floor’s weight should be as heavy as possible in order to withstand the enormous upward pressure of the groundwater. I continue to be amazed by the dimensions and associated large numbers of our project.

foto: www.philipdriessen.com

The floor has been partially poured, and the contours of our largest theatre are already visible. A few days of hardening and then the formwork for the eight-meter high walls can be made. The former power station, where the lobby and restaurant will be, is empty. The boilers, pipes, and fittings are out. What remains is a big and beautiful empty space. We could enjoy it for a few hours and then we tried to replicate the effect of a large object, like the bar. Together with our advisor, Dorine de Vos, we simulated our future bar with empty boxes. I can now picture where my favourite table will be. Let’s see if it works out in practice. I’ll keep you posted. Start getting excited.

Nico Haenen