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De Brouckère set for major makeover

BPI Real Estate and Immobel, charged with redeveloping the area around De Brouckère in the historic centre of Brussels, have revealed the thinking behind their programme and the details of what will be done. The architectural element is being mandated to an association of Henning Larsen Architects (Denmark) and A2RC (Belgium). Planning starts this year, demolition works next year and a final completion is expected for mid 2024.

In overall terms, the developers say the area will see a mixed use project meeting the demand for a high quality of living and working in the city. Although some demolition will take place, and the programme will entirely transform the buildings, there will be respect for the existing property which is partly in the Belle Époque style, and to greenery and mobility. The project also takes into account the latest concepts in sustainable urban policy and respect for the Brussels identity.

BPI Real Estate and Immobel point out that this project is the latest major urban redevelopment in a list which already includes the pedestrian zone, the reconstruction of the Place de la Monnaie, the renovation of the Quartier des Quais and the Kanal-Centre Pompidou.

The heart of the complex will be formed by a large courtyard garden with green façades. Mobility is an important topic due to its central location, and multi-modal transport will be closely matched to the needs of local users.

The programme as currently outlined includes a total 40,400 m² (currently 43,700 m²), 182 apartments, 129 student rooms, a 145 room hotel, 3,220m² of retail space and an office building of 8,840m².

Jacob Kurek, partner at Henning Larsen Architects, comments on the objectives: “In our work, we start out from the context of the city, and in this project, we wanted to make it really feel like a part of Brussels. We wanted to bring back De Brouckère’s original energy. Inspired by the way in which the city of Brussels has changed positively in recent years, we created a design in which accessibility and permeability are central, for example by alternating the four most important façades (a combination of old and new) with glimpses through to the green spaces in the middle. This allows us to strike a balance in the hustle and bustle that is so characteristic of Place De Brouckère.”
Tim Harrup

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