(c) Séverin Malaud

In 2019, LABO RUIMTE (Environmental Department and Vlaams Bouwmeester (Flemish Master Architect) Team), in collaboration with the Brussels Region (perspective.brussels and BMA), launched a project involving analytical research and prospection into the high-quality transformation of the urban fabric in the 20th-century outskirts region in Brussels and its surroundings. As a reminder, the 20th-century outskirts refers to the strip of land astride both regions, extending 2.5 km inside to 5 km beyond the limits of the Brussels Region, and neither strictly suburban, nor strictly peripheral. This portion of atypical land presents several urban and social challenges in terms of mobility, the environment, health, not to mention in terms of wealth and financial accessibility.

This mission concerns the realisation of urban research (research by design) to check and test qualitative strategies transforming the 20th-century Couronne in and around Brussels. As such, it concerns phase 2 (research by design) in the global mission.

In early 2020, the first part of this mission was awarded to an exploratory team, the consortium LaboXX+I. This mission involved the development of a diagnosis (phase 1), the coordination of research by design (phase 2) and the summary of transformation strategies (phase 3). The exploratory team has made a diagnosis of the urban environment of the 20th-century outskirts and compiled the results in an atlas, focused on the 12 specific issues relating to this district. The atlas will be provided together with the tendering documents.

The exploratory team, working together with the contracting authorities, will supervise and coordinate this research in the second phase of the project.

Therefore, this concerns appointing a maximum of three design teams for the second phase, involving research by design Each of the three design teams will conduct research relating to one of the key questions in the research zone to which this key question is most applicable.

The mission has been divided into three specific parts:

  • Part 1: Jette-Zellik-Asse intersection
    Key question:  “The accessible city. ‘Soft’ modes of transport as a lever in an urban project.”
    Transformation strategy to be explored, tested and verified: “Bike-oriented development – the bike as a lever in urban transformation.”
  • Part 2: Woluwe valley between Kraainem and Woluwe Saint-Lambert.
    Key question: “The city that breathes. Focus on water-conscious urban development.”
    Transformation strategy to be explored, tested and verified: “Development focused on water – environmental districts beyond regional boundaries.”
  • Part 3: Zone Erasmus to Anderlecht.
    Main question “Double granulometry. Improving the link between the different plot levels (campus and metropolitan facilities).”
    Transformation strategy to be explored, tested and verified: “Development of proximity. Selective redevelopment in function of multiple use of space and functional and morphological intensification”.

The assignment is estimated to last 6 months.

For the 3 parts: urbanism and spatial design capability suiting an area the size of the 3 selected research zones.

  • For part 1: ability to integrate technical elements linked to soft mobility in a spatial design.
  • For part 2: ability to integrate technical elements linked to nature-based solutions/water management/ecological transition in an urban environment in a spatial design.
  • For part 3: ability to integrate organisational elements linked to institutional design/campus management/estate management in a multi-level spatial design.


  • Quality and relevance of the team details (20%)
  • Quality of the letter of intent (40%)
  • Quality and relevance of references (40%)


  • Week of 3 May 2021: max. 7 teams will be invited to submit a tender;
  • 31 May 2021: submission of offers (team details, letter of intent, reference details);
  • Week of 7 June 2021: oral presentation to the Advisory Committee;
  • June 2021: award of the contract;
  • Launch meeting: first 2 weeks in July 2021;
  • Duration of research: summer holiday + 6 months research.


  • The total fees are set at 45,000 euros excluding VAT per part = 135,000 euros excluding VAT for the complete mission.
  • Expenses of EUR 1,000 will be awarded to each team invited to tender that has submitted a regular offer and obtained half of the points on the basis of the award criteria.

If you are interested in one or more of the 3 parts in this mission, we invite you to send an e-mail before  12 noon on 26 April 2021 to the bouwmeester maitre architecte team via appel-oproep@bma.brussels indicating your interest, motivation and experience and stating your contact details and/or those of the team envisaged (on a maximum of 1 A4 page in the appendix). Please complete a separate, specific sheet of A4 for each part in which you are interested.