Leesstraat is the temporary public space activation of Rue de la Reine, a small pedestrian street located in the center of Brussels, between two cultural public buildings: The National Opera House La Monnaie and Muntpunt Library (the biggest Flemish library in Brussels). The project is a collaboration between Cakri and Muntpunt and consists of an extension of the reading activities of the library towards the public space.
Rue de La Reine presents certain climatic conditions that add to its spatial qualities as a public space. The shadows projected from the Library building over three-quarters of the street and the light wind currents eventually running through provide ideal comfort conditions, highly appreciated during summer times. However, despite the good quality of its paving and benches placed along the lateral transparent façade of the Library, Rue de la Reine is almost exclusively used as a service street.
To the initiative of Cakri to make an intervention that could dynamize this space, Muntpunt provided the programmatic framework through their initiative “1 City, 19 Books,” in which each of the 19 municipalities of Brussels selected one book to be promoted during the summer. To encourage outdoor reading, Muntpunt favored the idea to bring outside certain indoor activities and to provide a new meaning to the street during summertime, when Rue de la Reine becomes Leesstraat: an ‘oasis of quietude for reading in the open air’ offering a range of spaces for many types of reading experiences, individual, collective and ludic.
The first edition of Leesstraat included installing four different light scaffolding structures that, in combination with wooden elements and hammocks, provide a variety of reading spaces for adults and children, to zones for public debates, audiobooks, and concerts. On the top of the scaffolding structure, 54 layers of fabric add color and movement to the whole installation.
Diego Luna Quintanilla, Sedaile Mejias
In collaboration with
Muntpunt, Muntpunt Grand Café
Wings Nuts Décor, Jos Horbach, Anne Baraquin, Eva Recio, Elvia González, Paola Hernández, Louis Bonte, Donatas Baltrusaitis, Daniel Osorio, Paul Steinbrück, Afix, Gold Fingers Mercerie, Service Couture Express, La Corderie, Incutlab