Change of direction for the renovation of the 'Caprice des Dieux'


The winning project in the architectural competition for the renovation of the European Parliament building in Brussels, known as the ‘Paul-Henri Spaak’ building, or ‘Caprice des Dieux’, will not see the light of day. According to L'Echo, the building will undergo a more limited and gradual renovation, which should ensure the continued use of the premises and reduce the cost of the works from €600 million to around €400 million.

After identifying major structural weaknesses in the building, the European Parliament launched an architectural competition for its heavy renovation. The Europarc consortium won the competition in 2022. The European consortium gathers many architectural and engineering firms: JDSA (Belgium/Denmark) in association with Coldefy (France), NL Architects (Netherlands), Carlo Ratti Associati (Italy), Ensamble Studio (Spain), with engineers from Util (Belgium) and Ramboli (Denmark).

To strengthen the link between the highly enclosed complex and the city, the 'Europarc' project aimed to create a path through the building to reinforce the links between Place du Luxembourg and Parc Léopold. The parliamentary hemicycle would have been moved to the upper floors. A vast garden, a sort of modern version of an agora, would have been created at the top of the building.