Theatre, music and dance performances, exhibitions or corporate events. As of 2024, they can all take place in the restored 17th-century Het Predikheren Church in Mechelen. With the addition of the new multifunctional space, the library is growing more than ever to become one of the city’s cultural hotspots. An investment of 6.7 million euros.
Sven van Heisendonk
With the support of the Flemish government, Mechelen is currently investing $3.2 million in restoring the church in Joswin de Staastartstraat. An additional 3.5 million euros will be spent on converting the former place of worship into a multifunctional space. Of these, another two million will come from Flanders, and Prime Minister Jean Gambon (Northern Virginia) will release them.
Jambon, who is in charge of culture, was a guest at Dillestad on Wednesday. In terms of investments in culture, we are witnessing our golden decade. This puts Mechelen on the map as a city of culture,” says Bjorn Sever (Vld-Groen-m+), a local council member for culture. The new library in the adjacent monastery opened in summer 2019.
“If we want to develop the library into a real cultural attraction, we actually need more space. “The rooms in the monastery are very small very quickly,” says Heidi de Nin, head of culture for the city. destination in the beginning.
“We want to make the church a place for performances on a fairly small scale. These can be theater and music performances, but also lectures,” says Aldermann Seifer. From 2024, visitors will enter the church through an amphitheater. “We can remove this portable stand. , so that we can use the multifunctional building, for example for exhibitions and corporate events.”
The cobblestones will be preserved in the church. “But in a cliched version. We put a wooden floor in the choir suitable for dance performances. We still miss such a place in our city today,” Bjorn Sever explains.
Mezzanine with books
A new mezzanine, a mezzanine, was built to the left and right of the central nave. “It will be really beautiful. You will be able to watch a show or attend a reception here. We are also working on expanding our library capacity here.”
In the side corridors there will be space for closed chests with a storage for books. “The books that we desperately need to get from the large warehouse in the Rato warehouse in Muizen will be placed here. As a result, we want to reduce the number of relocations,” says the member of the Culture Council.