NTG Theatre, Ghent has reopened after significant refurbishment. The urban theatre is facing a new artistic chapter in which it finds itself between ‘tradition and utopia’ while bringing global issues to the city. To accompany the artistic development, the theatre has undergone technical refurbishment as well. NTG Theatre now features a wide selection of cable from VDC Trading.
The works to the building on Sint-Baafsplein, in the heart of the city, include both renovations to existing infrastructure as well as a new space on the side of the building. The renovation followed an extensive tender process, which saw FACE, Van Damme’s Belgian distributor, being called in by the main contractor to install the complete light, sound and AV wiring setup.
Steven Kemland, who leads the project division at FACE, said: “We have a good relationship with the contractor from another project, so they asked us to do everything – light, sound and AV wiring. We were happy to do this but we wanted to use the products we know and trust. We had some freedom to change things from the tender and that allowed us to use all Van Damme cable.”
Kemland continued: “Van Damme gave us the complete range of high-quality cable necessary to maintain a low smoke environment. We did the Queen Elizabeth Concert Hall in Antwerp and were laying down 25-35km of cable; we never had a problem with it. It’s strong, reliable, really good cable.”
The project also introduced other challenges, particularly as it was the stage side of the theatre undergoing refurbishment. This meant only being able to work in the remaining, restricted space. A lot of meetings and preparation were had to ensure everything was in the right place at the right time.
Going to the theatre is an experience made not only by what’s on stage, but also the venue, the staff and the overall atmosphere of the place. As Kemland says: “We had to make sure we kept the area totally clean, as there would not be any cosmetic refurbishment in the venue.” The exposure of the cables and other elements was also the topic of lengthy discussion and planning, as any obvious visibility of these could be distracting or affect the aesthetic of the existing space.
As in many projects of this type, time was also a factor. “We couldn’t start there until May, and the theatre was due to re-open in September. This meant we had to work very hard with a lot of people to get everything done in time. The timescales were really tight.” Despite this the venue re-opened at the end of September, with a number of premieres lined up to showcase the versatility of the new space.
Photo Credit: Sanne Peper