© Séverin Malaud


Restoration of the Janson Auditorium and the Maison des Etudiants

Built for the 1958 Universal Exhibition, the Janson auditorium, located behind the Maison des Etudiants on the Solbosch campus, remains one of the emblems of the ULB, and is still its largest auditorium. It illustrates a remarkable construction technique using tensioned cables. Built in 1928, the Maison des Etudiants has undergone successive transformations, first serving as a reception pavilion, then housing a concierge service, classrooms, offices and other multi-purpose areas. In 2017, the building complex was listed as a heritage site.

These listed buildings have never undergone any major renovation campaigns since they were built, and are now in a generally advanced state of disrepair. At the same time, the university has to cope with a significant increase in student numbers, making it imperative and urgent to develop new infrastructure to accommodate them.

The aim of the project is to restore the listed parts of this complex, make contemporary improvements to them and reaffirm the value of this historic heritage with the aim of allowing a use beyond the scope of the University alone. It should be noted that the project includes both the restoration of all the listed elements and the renovation of the Maison des Etudiants, the auditorium and all the adjacent areas. The built environment should be considered as a whole, with some elements being listed and others not.

ULB is looking for a multi-disciplinary team (architecture, stability engineering and MEP engineering) to carry out the full assignment of restoration and contemporary enhancement of the Janson auditorium and the Maison des Etudiants. ULB is committed to a Climate Plan for 2030. The restoration of this group of buildings must therefore be exemplary and part of an energy-efficient approach, while respecting the building’s guidelines.