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Brussels, 10 April 2008

Operation facelift begins

The authorities of Brussels-Capital Region, in close partnership with the European Commission and the City of Brussels, are launching a major competition aimed at defining a new urban design for the European Quarter. The area devoted to the competition includes the zone around the rue de la Loi, between the circular ring and the chaussée d’Etterbeek .[1]

The goal of this competition is to define an urban design with a strong symbolic identity, featuring convivial public spaces, giving priority to non-motorised mobility and public transport, and providing buildings of high environmental quality and architectural value.

The project is in keeping with the objectives defined by the recent Master Plan for the European Quarter[2]. It aims to transform the zone into an eco-district combining the first European and international administrative site in the Region, diversified housing as well as cultural and leisure spaces. In addition, it responds to the desire, as expressed jointly by the regional authorities and the European Commission, to reorganize the locations of the Commission on both sides of the Rue de la Loi while encouraging significant functional and social diversity.

This ambitious project of refitting envisages a rationalization and a concentration of the presence of the Commission along the rue de la Loi. It implies that the office area occupied by the Commission in the zone would increase from 170,000 m² to 400,000 m². The idea is to encourage greater density in the zone via an increase in the floor/ground ratio, which rises from an average of 4.5 to 8.0.

Details of the competition

The contracting authority is the Brussels-Capital Ministry’s Administration of Housing and Regional Planning, Studies & Planning Direction administration. It is organizing the competition, will make its decisions on the basis of opinions provided by an advisory committee [which includes representatives of the Region (2), the City of Brussels (2) and the European Commission (2), as well as international experts (7)selected from the 27 EU Member States], and will monitor and ensure that the mission is completed. Under the terms of this competition, the results will be made public.

Terms and conditions of this competition dealing with its organization and its planning were published jointly in the Moniteur belge and in the Official Journal of the European Union. They can be consulted at: (ref. 004445, ed. 02/04/2008) and (ref. 88087, ed. 03/04/2008).

Provisional timetable:

Launch of the competition
April 3, 2008
Submission of applications
May 30, 2008
Selection of three to five participants
June 30, 2008
(based on the proposal of the advisory committee)
Submission of the offers by the three to five participants
September 30, 2008
Award of the tender to the winner
November 3, 2008
(based on the proposal of the advisory committee)
Evolution of the mission:
deepening of the urban design
November 15, 2008 - March 15, 2009

[1] The precise area of the zone can be consulted in the notice of competition or is available from the office of the Brussels-Capital Region

[2] This Master Plan will be approved by the regional authorities in the course of April.

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