(c) Séverin Malaud

With the booming of the service economy from the 1970s onwards, Brussels has undergone drastic changes. The European Quarter is one of the neighbourhoods that bear witness to this mass production of offices, with architecture ranging from late modernism to post-modernism. Contrary to the practice of demolition and new construction, there are many reasons why it is important to tackle these buildings from a circular point of view when they are in danger of becoming vacant. That is why the competition launched today by BPI Real Estate and AG Real Estate for the reuse of a typical building from this period is so interesting. On the one hand because of the architectural and technical challenge but also for it to become game changer in the real estate market.

In the heart of the European quarter, between the Trier Street and the Arlon Street, stands a striking S-shaped building that was erected during those famous seventies. An ensemble that distinguishes itself from its context, not only by its urban layout, but also by its façade, rhythmically constructed from prefabricated concrete elements. The new owners of the building want to thoroughly renovate the building and prepare it for a sustainable future. The assignment is to adapt the building to the current market and to develop an innovative office environment, with particular
attention to the wellbeing of the users and to the characteristics of the existing architecture. Optimum use of space must go hand in hand with an improved relationship with the environment.

BPI Real Estate and AG Real Estate are looking for a strong team consisting of a motivated architect and a technical consultant, both with a specific interest in the reuse of this type of office building. This innovative team will join forces with Bureau Bouwtechniek, which has already carried out various technical feasibility studies for the site. Depending on the strategy and the specific characteristics of the building, the core team may propose to reinforce itself with additional experts and consultancy firms.