Since 1993, the Cirkus in Beweging (CB) has served as a school for circus education, providing students of all ages with the opportunity to explore the performing arts.
As an organization, CB prides itself on being an open community for everyone interested, creating a safe space for participants to grow creatively. However, when COVID-19 first hit, not only did the school find itself unable to welcome its students in-person, but the pandemic lockdown also coincided with Cirkus in Beweging’s last days in its original gym, known as Broosgebouw.
To commemorate 25 years since the opening as well as the history of the building itself, CB got to work capturing a 3D digital twin of Broosgebouw, ensuring future students and visitors could enjoy the experience of exploring the unique property.
We recently spoke with Lukas Van Audenhaege, a member of Cirkus in Beweging’s communications team, to learn more about the project.
Q: How has the pandemic impacted you?
Two days before our event “Clascirque” (a performance in the theater of Leuven), the initial lockdown happened. Everything was ready, and we were looking forward to the day of the performances, so it was very sad when they announced the general lockdown.
During this time we couldn’t organize any events or weekly classes. Therefore, we started with ‘Cirkus Corona,’ an online circus school where we posted daily challenges, exercises, and other fun videos to keep in touch with our students.
Q: What inspired the 3D capture you shared?
This summer, our circus building is being renovated. These renovations will take at least three years, and once the renovations are complete, we won’t go back to our previous location. We’ll be permanently moving to two new gyms.
We’ve been here 25 years and have a lot of great memories — thousands of visitors both local and international have come through. By making it possible to virtually walk around the original building, people can relive these moments.
Q: What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?
In the tour, there are videos of classes, performances, podcasts, and many other things to explore. We also accumulated a lot of historic images from the time the building functioned as a missionary school, including original blueprints of the architecture and the monastery life before it became ours.
You’ll also see some mysterious figures wandering around in the 3D digital twin — these characters play an important role in an “Escape the Room” game we’re currently building. That’s another nice thing about our project. We keep uploading videos, photos, and podcasts — it’s a never-ending story!
Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring your 3D tour?
The goal of the project was to recreate the memories people have of Cirkus in Beweging, especially in and around the chapel room, which was our main training space for the past 25 years.
Q. What are the advantages of a 3D digital twin of the space compared to an in-person visit?
The main thing is that we’re able to provide visitors the experience of being inside the school at any time.
By capturing the digital twin with Matterport, we have the advantage of adding both old and new videos as well as other content. It is also possible to add the “Escape the Room” game, which would have been very difficult to do in real life. Visitors can even explore some of the more private and hidden spaces throughout the building.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
It was surprisingly easy to set up the 3D capture, even as a noob to this sort of thing. Once we obtained a good 3D camera, it was fun to figure out all of the possibilities. The result is amazing and we’re proud of presenting it to our members and audience.
We’re also thankful for the instant support we received from Matterport when figuring out all the features in the 3D capture!