Winter Circus, Ghent, Belgium

Project type:

  • Multifunctional center


  • Concrete foundation slaband trenches 


  • Achitects: Baro and SumProject
  • Engineering firm: VK Engineering
  • Contractor: Furnibo
  • Owner: Sogent 
  • Concrete plant: Multi-Mix

Located in the center of Ghent, Belgium, the Winter Circus dates back to 1885. Recently, the city decided to renovate the dilapidated building and repurpose it as a multifunctional complex. The surface area of the Circus includes a 1.200 m² patio with an underground concert hall.

Koen Feyaerts, senior project engineer with VK Engineering, the design and engineering firm associated with the project, explains the main challenges related to building some of the structural elements and how Dramix® steel fiber concrete reinforcement contributed to the solution. 

The challenge

“Underpinning the existing foundation around the concert hall was particularly challenging. The trenches run about 150 m long and are cast in sections of 1.2 m. At 50 to 70 cm wide and 8 m deep, the trenches have limited space to work. Using traditional concrete reinforcement would have required a lot of customization. To avoid this time-consuming and thus costly affair, we replaced over 80% of mesh with steel fiber. We were also able to achieve optimal slab thickness for the foundation using steel fiber combined with traditional reinforcement in areas of high peak moments.”

The solution

“Contractor Furnibo recommended Dramix® steel fiber concrete reinforcement based on previous experience. With Bekaert’s experience and support, we gained a lot of time at making our calculations. Because we were able to skip a part of the customization and installation of rebar, we were able to finish the job much quicker and at a better price.

”Bekaert’s calculation support included various proposals with different ratios of mesh and Dramix®. Furnibo also used the steel fibers in curved concrete walls. The complex shape of walls made traditional brickwork difficult. Therefore, the contractor decided to cast the walls completely in concrete, using steel fiber instead of traditional rebar.