This has been, as Brussels Planning and Heritage Secretary Geoffroy Coomans de Brachène put it, a complicated dossier. Rehabilitating part of the ‘Ilot Sacré’ alongside the Grand’Place has indeed, required no fewer than 15 permits over a period spanning 50 years. Yesterday, however, this plot of land, which is located between the Rue des Bouchers and the Marché aux Herbes, was officially inaugurated by Geoffroy Coomans de Brachène along with Anne-Catherine Galetic, MD of developers Galika. Both underlined the difficulties faced by architects DDS and contractors Valens in creating a complex of buildings in such a restricted space with complicated access. All of this led to the project being named, within the Brussels administration, the ‘delicate project’.
The result is a complex of eight buildings (four of which are now complete), totalling around 6,000 m². They contain 29 apartments from studio to 3-bedroom, 2 individual houses, and 22 student flats. These student flats are delivered furnished. There is a common conciergerie and laundry room, and the buildings which are located on the Rue des Bouchers and Marché aux Herbes, will retain a retail ground floor level.
The buildings are in character with the historic nature of the area, and match the original architecture in a harmonious manner. They replace what Geoffroy Coomans de Brachène described as the largest eyesore in the Ilot Sacré.