The mission of the bouwmeester (Chief Architect) and his team is to ensure the quality of urban space, both architecturally and in terms of urban planning and public realm in the Brussels-Capital Region, thus driving forward Brussels’ ambitions in urban development. The Chief Architect is working in an independent position.
The bouwmeester’s main tool is organising design competitions: a transparent and qualitative way of choosing projects and project designers. Well-organised thanks to the triple combination of an efficient programme, procedure and jury, competitions represent one of the best routes to architectural quality.
Some projects require a preliminary design study. The Research by design approach supports the definition of the project during the preliminary phases and highlights future possibilities for a site, programme or theme. As such,it is an important tool for introducing proactive and creative expertise in the political decision making on urban policy.
A formal design review aims to increase the quality of projects being prepared for permit applications. According to the new version of the Brussels Regional Planning Code (CoBAT/BWRO), the BMA delivers a design review on all the projects submitted for a permit application. However, the BMA privileges support upstream of this application, in particular via professional and transparent dialogue during a Project Meeting or a Quality Chamber.