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SNCB headquarters now on the rails...

Image: SNCB
Image: SNCB

SNCB (in agreement with the Brussels Capital Region and the commune of St. Gilles) has just announced that three of Belgium’s major development companies have been selected to construct its own new headquarters. The companies involved are Besix, BPC/BPI and Immobel.

The headquarters building(s) will be constructed on a total site of around 75,000 m² on the Rue Fonsny, taking the place in particular of the former postal sorting centre. The offices will accommodate the various management departments of the SNCB along with its subsidiary HR-Rail.

The SNCB currently owns a number of premises in the district (South Station is of course a major national and international hub) and some of these will be sold, thus partly financing the project. The location is on the other side of the Avenue Fonsny from the New-York style buildings designed by the Atelier d’Art Urbain (Sefik Birkiye) some years ago. The architecture of the new offices is by a grouping of OMA, Jaspers – Eyers et Assar, and will mainly consist of retaining the existing buildings and adding an extension on the tail tracks side. Works are set to begin in two years from now and be completed by the end of 2024.

The other question that this latest move inevitably highlights, is just how much longer it is going to take for the rest of the district to receive its much-needed renewal. Atenor’s Victor project, for example, to replace the derelict buildings close to the Midi Tower, has been waiting for more than nine years…
Tim Harrup

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