The European quarter may be an asset for Brussels. As an international environment built around the European institutions, it scores, however, a lot less in terms of interesting urbanity. The monofunctionality of offices there is sky-high, but post-Covid will undoubtedly provide a breakthrough in the coming years.

As the European Commission seeks to reduce and reorganise its office space in order to make it more sustainable, a huge real estate operation is coming up. As many as 21 existing buildings will be transferred at once to the Belgian state, backed by Cityforward with Whitewood as manager. These buildings will be put back on the market for renovation, redevelopment and reprogramming. More than 300,000 m² are involved, so with a substantial impact! The entire operation is carried out in collaboration with the Brussels Region and the municipalities concerned, and the intention is to allocate around 30% of the redevelopment to uses other than offices, such as housing and amenities. Cityforward is a game changer in the European district to – finally – take a big step forward in terms of functional mix and thus turn it into a real city district.

Cityforward is looking for a design team with strong capabilities in urban planning, feasibility studies and stakeholder dialogue to work out a framework for the 21 buildings, which will be divided into about 12 groups, in order to give direction to the real estate development afterwards. This both in terms of implantation and urban integration, density and building height, and programme and mix of functions. The study starts with a global vision of the distribution across the European district and ends with strategic guidelines (Projectlines) for each group of buildings. Support already exists for technical building analysis and legal-financial expertise. Who will help make a difference in reconquering the European quarter for residents, better public spaces and more sustainable ambitions?

The procedure includes a concise application and, based on these submitted files, an interview with 4 selected candidates will follow. No additional design or vision development documents are expected for this.