Astro Tower RefurbishmentJuly 14, 2007
While doing research on the public area in Brussels City, I found some interesting news – at least it’s new to me. The last few years not more than 9 high-rise buildings were rebuilt or refurbished in town. The last one is the Tower of Finance, due for 2008. But today I discovered plans for the refurbishment of the Astro Tower.
The Astro Tower is situated north west of the city centre, between Botanique and Madou and is actualy owned by the Dutch bank company Fortis. In 2006, a study for the renovation was held by the Belgian architects office Jaspers & Partners. It’s not that I have anything against Jaspers, but it seems to me that ambition is to be found far away here in Brussels when it comes to architecture. Of all refurbishments, Jaspers achieved over 50 percent! Anyway, due to a lack of ambition (as I call it), the refurbisment will commence in 2011 and will be completed in 2013. With its 110m, it will then be the amongst the 10 highest towers on the Brussel’s skyline.
Back in 2000, former Brussels mayor François-Xavier de Donnea prohibited buildings to become taller in the future. The aim was to clear the view from the balcony of the City Hall so that no high-rise would be perceptible. The battle for refurbishment was at stake, but with no real architectural competitions, it became nothing more than an update that would change nothing about this city space, and so it did – or did not, depends the nuance.
But some weeks – may it be months – ago the question of new high-rise buildings in the European District here in Brussels was quoted once more. I’ll bring that up within a few days (weeks).
Below a photo before and (likely) after :