COMPETITIONS

As the main tool at the bouwmeester’s disposal, the organisation of competitions for the selection of new architectural and urban projects makes it possible to ensure that these are of high quality. This mechanism gives clients, whether from the public or private sector, access to appropriate support and tools.

If you are a public-sector client or contracting authority:

Under public procurement legislation, public-sector clients are required to have several candidates compete for any contract.

To give them optimal support, the bouwmeester has developed tools and procedures enabling competitive tenders of this kind to be organised with maximum transparency, efficiency and quality.

 

If you are a private-sector clients:

As the bouwmeester’s goal is to promote the quality of space in Brussels, competition procedures are also made available for private-sector clients.

Advantages:

– Project quality is stimulated by competitions;

– The public authorities concerned by the project can follow its progress right from the first sketches; this facilitates work later on, as contact has been established from the first phases;

– The client benefits from the expertise of the bouwmeester’s team, which supports it during the procedure;

– The future project is integrated into a coherent vision of Brussels.

MARCHE À SUIVRE/ M.A.S.

The publication Marche à suivre (M.A.S) – Projets publics d’architecture is intended for all public-sector project owners who are required to conduct a competitive tender requiring design work.

The tools and forms included in this publication complement the procedure and define it in detail; they draw on the new legislation on public procurement and are reinforced by the explanations given in the Vade Mecum.

The bouwmeester’s recommendations represent a commentary on these tools and forms, providing the explanations needed to understand them properly.

>>> Download the MAS in pdf format (FR)

VADE-MECUM

The Vade Mecum reflects the law on public procurement.

In addition to conventional architectural services tenders, public-private  partnerships (PPPs) are also covered in this guide in view of their growing popularity with public-sector clients. A field survey was conducted in order to gain an understanding of the issues and problems associated with this type of procedure.

 

RESEARCH BY DESIGN

Some projects require a preliminary or more fundamental study. Research by design ensures that the right questions are asked at the right time and that the essential features of a context, competition or actor are sufficiently clear.

Some projects require a preliminary or more fundamental study. Research by design ensures that the right questions are asked at the right time and that the essential features of a context, competition or actor are sufficiently clear.

In this way it explores future possibilities for a site, programme or theme. The creative vision of architects within the bouwmeester’s team adds considerable value to the traditional planning analyses.

‘We are working to improve the spatial, urban and architectural quality of projects. We believe that the most direct way of achieving this is to share a common vision between the public authorities and clients. But before such a vision can be shared, it must be created. By evaluating, testing and comparing scenarios in cross-disciplinary workshops, the Research by Design team creates a consensual design, ensures that projects move forwards and enables the public authority to form a common view on the basis of concrete project variants. Workshop exercises no longer start from a blank page. On the contrary, we always take the location and volumes that have been proposed as our starting point. The point is not re-invent everything and create divisions, but rather to work together to develop a project that is satisfactory for the various actors. Another Research by Design focus is the zoom-out, where we look more widely than the particular plot of land concerned by the project. We often need to make clients aware of their environment and must always set the project in its wider context. In parallel with the 75 projects supported since January 2016, the team is also developing a proactive approach to the Canal Area. ’

From the article ‘Recherche par le projet : Fabriquer la ville productive’, Revue A+ October-November 2016, by Géraldine Lacasse and Julie Collet, bouwmeester’s team

THE QUALITY CHAMBER

In Brussels, most projects come from the private sector and are therefore not the result of a competitive tender procedure. With this in mind, the bouwmeester has introduced a method already tested in several cities: the quality chamber.

In Brussels, most projects come from the private sector and are therefore not the result of a competitive tender procedure. With this in mind, the bouwmeester has introduced a method already tested in several cities: the quality chamber.

Prior to the planning application, this aims to stimulate the quality of projects, to bring together in a transparent and efficient manner communication which is usually dispersed, to organise a professional dialogue between the architects/clients and the authorities, to coordinate the views of the different bodies most closely involved in quality assessment and thus to save time and money through anticipatory dialogue and coordinated operation.

The Quality chamber is held every fourteen days, with the cabinet of the Minister of Urban Planning, the Region’s Planning Permission Department, the bouwmeester and the aldermen and administrations of the municipality concerned as permanent guests. In this way, projects are monitored in a coordinated and transparent manner, with a particular focus on quality.