“New Brussels” CompetitionAugust 4, 2007
Quite some time ago, the real estate group Atenor nv. offered a prize for the competition for a new building complex along the canal in the Brussels North district. I did some research and came across a proposition by Conix Architects, the Antwerp based middle-sized bureau that was in charge for the Atomium renovation. I didn’t find any other participants yet… The project dated from 2005 but is in my opinion only an exercise for the future use of the area.
The twin towers, each having a different height, should serve as a new landmark for the area and such, for the city of Brussels, create a mixed content of industrial and urban beauty. The towers have a mixed use, providing offices and appartments on the higher levels, and shops, restaurants, bars, etc.. on the lower levels. The high building will also simulate a bodily scale, with voids and public spaces on the ground level. An esplanade with pavillions will allow a dynamic connection with a new walking area alongside the canal (which, in my opinion is very likely to be managed within the next decade!) at the Akenkaai.
Till date, there seems to be a problem, though. On the one hand, the “Sint Lucas Archive” tries to protect the historic Delhaize Storehouses, that should be demolished for the towers to arise. On the other hand, the city council, wants to get rid of the warehouses, but don’t seem to get a building permit… The only thing I know, is that the warehouses have valuable door-transoms above the entrance doors and even above the windows, by the Belgian art-nouveau architect Paul Cauchie. I’ll make a photoseries in a while. It might be worth a lot in let’s say 20 years 🙂
Also, acoording to an article in the Brussel’s newspaper “Brussel Deze Week” back in 2006, the old storehouses seem to provoke quite some squabble between Brussels politicians. Let’s wait and see how it will end, because since then, i didn’t hear a lot about the project any more…