Brussels Urban

Landscape Biennial 2018

– Rising Waters


Rising Waters
Shaping our Gardens, Streets and Urban Valleys
Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Bruxelles

Opening: 20.09 - 8 pm
21.09 - 06.01.2019
TUESDAY - SUNDAY 10 am - 6 pm

The second edition of the Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial (BULB) reviews the increasingly worrying issue of flooding in urban areas. How to manage the complex evacuation of rainwater in an integrated manner? Can landscape architecture provide an answer to such challenges and how? What are the limits of the current way of addressing this question?

The exhibition of the BULB is held at the Palais des Beaux-Arts. A collaboration between Architecture Workroom Brussels, BOZAR, Bureau Bas Smets, Latitude, JNC International and Taktyk.
With the participation of the artists Christian Barani, Andrea Caretto & Raffaella Spagna, Gauthier Oushoorn and Superflex.

Keynote Lecture

8 pm5-8€
Superpositions, a lecture by Georges Descombes
Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Bruxelles

Georges Descombes lives and works in Geneva. After studying in Geneva, Zurich and London at the Architectural Association Graduate School, he taught at the Institute of Architecture of the University of Geneva — where he was one of the founders of the Landscape Education Program — and at the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam. Visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the University of Virginia, Georges Descombes is a recognized speaker in both Europe and the United States.

His projects reinvent a sense of place by describing what is physically present and what is no longer existing. It is actually as important to him to evoke what has disappeared as what is present. It is through a "topographic sensitivity" that his landscape projects seek to translate with the greatest force the feeling of loss and disappearance.

Georges Descombes' presentation is the keynote lecture to the second edition of the Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial (BULB). The opportunity here is to highlight a singular culture and an operational landscape and territorial methodology, including questioning the morphological memory of a fragment of territory, the meaning of a place and finally, the use of water, as an allusion to a past device.

Lecture Informations here


8:30 am - 5 pm20-40€
Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Bruxelles

Lecturers: Eva Pfannes, Sybrand Tjallingii and Giambattista Zaccariotto
Speakers: Catalina Dobre, Joachim Declerck, Roselyne De Lestrange and Kelly Shanon

On the occasion of the BULB event, BOZAR and the FBU-BFS (Brussels Federation of Urbanism) organise a day of symposium to be held on September the 21st at BOZAR.

The opportunity here is to invite European actors that will give lectures in order to open the field of discussions on landscape issues, through the evocation or the examination of different practices, projects or research, conducted outside the framework of the city of Brussels. There will be also a focus on local issues with actors from the Belgian academic research community, in order to articulate the lectures through workshops and debates with the participants and the guest lecturers and to replace the different subjects in Brussels context.

Symposium Informations here

Curated Walks

9 am - 5 pm3-5€

Liquid Narratives Throughout The City With: Kristiaan Borret, Antoine Espinasseau, Serge Kempeneers, Jacques & Christophe Mercier and others tba.

The Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial (BULB) and BOZAR invite a few Brussels figures to think about some points of interest of theirs that are related to the main theme of this Biennial: Water. Once connected, these chosen points will draw a route through the city of Brussels that will be discovered during a day of Curated Walks, each one guided by one of the invited personalities.

LIMITED CAPACITY (20 people per each Curated Walk)

Curated Walks Informations here

Antoine Espinasseau (1986) is a visual artist graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles. Architecture, photography, sculpture and drawing mix and assert a very singular practice. His works have been exhibited at the Ricard Foundation in Paris, the Consortium in Dijon and the Regional Center for Contemporary Art of Languedoc Roussillon in Sète. He is currently working between Paris and Brussels. He will perform a new reading of his compositions "Pilars", September 22, 2018 at 18:30, on the site of Tour and Taxis.

Jacques Mercier is a writer and host of Belgian radio and television. Known as "Monsieur Dictionaire", he is the author of more than fifty books, novels, short stories, essays on the language, heritage, etc. Christophe Mercier is an architect. For public space projects as for urban planning studies, its architecture office ‘Sweden 36’ systematically implements citizen consultation processes. Christophe has long been campaigning for the implementation of new creative processes, competitions and project developments that guarantee more architectural quality.

Kristiaan Borret is the Bouwmeester Master Architect of the Brussels-Capital Region since 2015. Civil engineer-architect as a background, he also holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy and in political science and public affairs, as well as a master in urban planning. Kristiaan Borret's career is particularly marked by theoretical and conceptual research on the contemporary transformations of the city, urbanity and public space. In 2013, he received the Biennial Architecture Prize awarded by the Flemish Community. He will lead a walk along the canal by walking north from the Porte de Ninove/Ninoofsepoort on 22 September 2018 at 11:00.

Serge Kempeneers was born in Berchem Ste Agathe and is, as he puts it, "a child on the other side of the canal". He is a Doctor of Science and has studied urban ecology with Professor Paul Duvigneaud. He joined the Brussels Institute for Environmental Management (now Brussels Environment) in 1995, where he is the Director of Green Spaces Division. His team developed the concept of green and blue mesh for Brussels and made it happen in the field, as well as ecological management, vegetable gardens, participatory approaches, etc. He will awaken nature lovers during a walk at King Baudouin Park, Jette, September 22, 2018 at 9:30 am.

Garden Tales


Previously known as 'Jardins en Fête', the new ‘Garden Tales’ event invites you to discover 18 unexpected gardens in the Brussels region. As part of the Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial (BULB), the CIVA invites you to discover the use of water in all the variety of its forms.

More Informations here


BULB stands for Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial.

The aim of such an occasion is to enhance Brussels urban landscape through different images and kind of representations that can reach the inhabitants of the area of the belgian capital.

This was initiated in order to promote landscape architecture in Brussels to a broad public, to recognise Brussels heritage, make parks dans gardens live, create links with other European cities and innovative trading venues, and finally, showcase the different professions of landscape economy.

This biennial was initiated by the Brussels Minister of Environment and Life Quality. It is organised by Bruxelles Environnement (BE) in collaboration with the Fédération Bruxelloise de l’Urbanisme – Brusselse Federatie voor Stedenbouw (FBU-BFS), BOZAR and CIVA.

[EN] Climate change causes an important increase of rainfall rates and more particularly of intense rain events, posing a significant threat to coastal regions and small islands across the surface of our planet. And yet, even in urban areas farther away from these coastal regions, increased precipitations and urban spread also cause a problematic of flood of entire city areas, which occurs more often than before.

The second edition of the Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial (BULB) reviews the increasingly worrying issue of flooding in urban areas. How to manage the complex evacuation of rainwater in an integrated manner? Can landscape architecture provide an answer to such challenges and how ? What are the limits of the current way of addressing this question?

Through workshops, learning by doing activities, an exhibition, a day of symposium, curated walks and lectures, the BULB event, which spans two months, tries to sensitize the broad public to the importance of water and its related cycles in the urban landscape. Rather than considering this element as a threat, BULB sees it as a vital and structuring element of this vshaped landscape.

Architects & Landscape Architects: Architecture Workroom Brussels, Bureau Bas Smets, JNC International, Latitude Platform, Taktyk
Curator: Joachim Declerck

Assisted by: Alice Haddad
Exhibition Coordinator: Francelle Cane

With the participation of: Bruxelles Environnement (BE), Fédération Bruxelloises des Urbanistes (FBU)

[FR] Le changement climatique entraîne une élévation considérable du niveau des mers, ce qui constitue une menace importante pour les régions côtières et les petites îles partout à travers la surface de notre planète. Et pourtant, même dans des zones urbaines plus éloignées de ces dîtes régions côtières, l’augmentation des précipitations et l’urbanisation galopante constituent également un problème puisque des villes entières se retrouvent désormais et de plus en plus souvent sous les eaux.

La deuxième édition de la Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial (BULB) examine aujourd’hui la question de plus en plus préoccupante que constitue celle des inondations dans les territoires urbanisés. Comment gérer l’évacuation complexe des eaux de pluies de manière intégrée ? L’architecture paysagère peut-elle apporter une réponse à de tels défis et de quelle façon ? Quelles sont les limites des solutions actuelles ?

À travers des ateliers, des activités de recherche par le projet, une exposition, une journée de  colloque, des curated walks et des conférences, l’évènement BULB, qui s’étend sur deux mois, tente de sensibiliser le grand public à l’importance de l’eau et des cycles qui y sont liés dans le paysage urbain. Plutôt que de considérer cet élément comme une menace, BULB l’envisage comme un élément vital et tout à fait structurant de ce paysage.

Architectes & architectes-paysagistes : Architecture Workroom Brussels, Bureau Bas Smets, JNC International, Latitude Platform, Taktyk
Commissaire d'exposition : Joachim Declerck

Assisté par : Alice Haddad
Coordinatrice d'exposition : Francelle Cane

Avec la participation de : Bruxelles Environnement (BE), Fédération Bruxelloises des Urbanistes (FBU)

[NL] De klimaatverandering veroorzaakt een aanzienlijke stijging van het zeeniveau, waardoor kustgebieden en eilandjes wereldwijd kopje onder dreigen te gaan. Maar ook in stedelijke gebieden verder landinwaarts staat het water al geregeld aan de lippen, en de snel toenemende verstedelijking wordt steeds problematischer, nu hele steden almaar vaker blank komen te staan.

De tweede editie van de Brussels Urban Landscape Biennial (BULB) buigt zich vandaag over de steeds alarmerender problematiek van overstromingen in verstedelijkt gebied. Hoe kunnen we het regenwater op een verantwoorde manier afvoeren? Kan landschapsarchitectuur een oplossing aanreiken voor de complexe uitdagingen? En hoe? Wat zijn de beperkingen van onze huidige aanpak? Twee maanden lang probeert BULB het grote publiek te sensibiliseren voor het belang van water en de bijhorende cycli in het stedelijke landschap, met workshops, research by design, een tentoonstelling, een colloquium, curated walks en lezingen. BULB benadert het natuurelement niet als een bedreiging, maar als een vitale bron die het landschap vormgeeft.

Architecten & landschapsarchitecten: Architecture Workroom Brussels, Bureau Bas Smets, JNC International, Latitude Platform, Taktyk

Curator: Joachim Declerck
Bijgestaan door: Alice Haddad
Tentoonstelingscoördinatie: Francelle Cane

In samenwerking met: Leefmilieu Brussel (BE), de Brusselse Federatie voor Stedenbouw (BFS)

Barbara Porteman
barbara.porteman (at)

Design & Development
by LOOP Studio