In search of a venue: La Serre

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#1

Hi everyone, I really liked this space I saw today - it’s in the making and diy mode, but will be more equipped by October. Let me know what you think:
It’s called La Serre (French for greenhouse), it’s located in Ixelles close to Place Flagey, and offers:

  • 1 main hall with direct access from the street (can host 80 people for sure)
  • 2 smaller rooms (can host about 25, respectively 15 people each). One is suited for screenings too, the other one is like a living room
  • a kitchen accessible from the main hall - no doors between
  • a bar included in the main hall
  • 2 toilets using a water tank (see picture)

Ups:
-bright and good spirited
-purposed for community usage, looks quite flexible
-we can get help for the bar & kitchen from community groups in Brussels attached already to run activities here, so we’d be supporting projects for social good
-we can use the kitchen for cooking together in one meal at least; in general, we would be buying services from food groups (buffet style)
-we can keep the doors open to the event for interested passers by

  • through the hosts, we can connect with local groups in Brussels who could host activities in the space (ie yoga)
    -accessible by direct bus line from the city center (15 mins) and from the Central train station (20 mins)

Downsides:
-no Internet connectivity planned, so we’ll probably need to get it wired up
-in this space, I would keep the number of participants at max 80 to manage the 3 rooms. Two are quite small…

Most importantly: La Serre is one of the community spaces stewarded by an organisation we like in Brussels called [Communa ASBL]
(http://communaasbl.wixsite.com/asbl) (a non profit association). For the past 4 years they have been taking over unused spaces in town (ex through agreement with the City authorities) and have revitalized and repurposed them for affordable use by citizens and collectives doing good work.

Communa is a version of OpenVillage that Edgeryders is contemplating, but the network of spaces works in Brussels only. Here’s how: their collective started out as circa 20 people living together and trying to make ends meet as students, using the space they had back then in productive ways (from what I understood, it was a squat). Once they learned how to do it, a subset of the group gradually took over other places in the city, and professionalized themselves in a broad range of skills: from the legal aspects of taking spaces, to equipping them, .
We stand to learn from them because they too, are on a quest to building living and working spaces for communities which thrive.

What do people think?


#2

@matthias, @johncoate and other handy people in the community: how feasible do you think it is to wire up the place with Internet the days before the event?!


#3

Realistic and stress-free scenario:

  1. Ask them if there’s any landline connection to that space where DSL or SDSL Internet can be booked. We need 3 Mbit/s of speed minimum, and anything above that we can get (16 Mbit/s is very probably available everywhere in Brussels).

  2. Agree with them that we’ll equip the place with Internet permanently, offsetting part of the rent we have to pay. It simply makes little sense to take down the whole setup after the event – we can’t even re-use the routers right now.

  3. Make them order the DSL / SDLS line connection as soon as possible.

  4. When they have the DSL / SDSL signal, one of our Brussels folks should go there and confirm the Internet access works.

  5. I can come a few days before the event and install the routers etc. to distribute Internet to all the guests. Have to collect suitable routers before. Similar job to LOTE3 in Matera – we have done it before.


Festival updates and division of labor
#4

Works for me. Nice find!


#5

Great, very happy it is actually such a nice space, and the people are like minded. And looks pretty, my kind of spot. Let’s see, there are one or two more that I think could be as great as this one, and then we pick. Thanks for sharing the documentation as well


#6

Agree with Matt. I couldn’t have said it better. As usual. :slightly_smiling_face:


#7

I thought so, thanks Matt. They have Internet in their offices upstairs, will check about the speed. The only thing is they are not fond of having it running in the whole space anyway (people hanging during regular activities and being on their phones all the time), so while we can probably get it for the days the routers will stay with us.


#8

That looks great! I like that we’re supporting local organisations.

What do you mean by the “toilet using a water tank”?

We would need to communicate beforehand that some sessions will have limited spots due to space restrictions. Not a big fan of that, also because it strains flexibility in the program. We often have three parallel sessions running, which puts us at maximum capacity of the space, without room for chilling or random things.


#9

Ok guys, so here’s my plan so far:

We rent La Serre for 3 days and make do with what we have - ask people to be considerate of the time and space, not take it personal if they get assigned to the smaller rooms and not keep busy the small rooms more than for the sessions allocated.

We have lunches there every day and dinner during the evening of Day 1.
We have an organised dinner elsewhere on Day 2 (safe to say we might do it in a Temple :slight_smile:
We have an organised dinner elsewhere + PARTY on Day 3 (@Yannick can you help get the industrial space we talked about - in Anderlecht was it?)

Some of the costs are offset by Edgeryders, some of the food is paid by participants themselves.
More on the budget soon.

Works?


#10

@noemi this is the place i was talking about: https://www.facebook.com/studiocitygate/


Travel and Accommodation support
#12

Looks great to me! I would wait until @natalia_skoczylas is in Brussels so she can check it out too… I believe this is sometime mid September?


#13

Yes it is, still hunting for the right ticket as they’;re bloody expensive and mostly very long connections


#14

Hello! @natalia_skoczylas @noemi or anyone else familiar with the venue!

@matteo are hoping to involve an end user in their presentation who is in a wheelchair. Do you know if the venue is wheelchair accessible? Wheelchair measures 132 cm x 75 cm

Thanks : )


#15

Hi all, I saw your pings on multiple Channels, give us 24 hrs to respond pls :slight_smile:

La Serre is wheelchair accessible, but we are now looking into a new space for day 2 and day 3 that is more spacious in terms of rooms. This new space unfortunately is not wheelchair accessible, and the stairs are quite narrow, it doesn’t look like it’s possible to carry a bigger load on them. Am I wrong @natalia_skoczylas?

Will be posting updates later this week if all sorts out.

One solution is for you to change the session for day 1, if people would like to join for only a day.
Sorry about this, juggling multiple demands :frowning:


#16

@gehan Let us know when is the session - I guess we could bring the person and the wheelchair there if we could carry them - not sure if that sounds correct, damn, I hope I am not offending anyone :wink: if that would work, we could do it the ‘old’ way.


#17

The session is on Day 2- Policy Redesigned, in the morning.


#18

Perhaps that might be down to how comfortable @matteo and Milan partners feel about asking the individual… : /


#19

Guys I think that this way isn’t doable… the chair sizes 132 cm x 75 cm and 300 kg fully loaded