Archive for the ‘brussels’ Category

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A peek on the future Schuman Station

December 9, 2007

schuman 1

schuman 3

It has been a while since the last post, but I’ve got plenty of new ideas to post!

I’d like to start with a first brief preview on the metamorphosis of the Schuman station in Brussels. This station actually situated behind the Berlaymont Building will be extended to be one of the largest main subway stations in town. The station will serve the existing train station, the renovated subway station and the new train station that is nowdays being built under the rue de la Loi / Wetstraat, between the Berlaymont Building and the Residence Palace (near the Schuman Square). The new station will be situated at the end (start) of the brand new RER-rail tunnel Schuman-Josaphat. The platforms of the new RER-station will rest upon the existing subway station in order to create a higly inter-modal junction.

schuman 2 schuman 4
From an architectural point of view, this new complex aims to pay a lot of attention to the practical organization and the incidence of light in order to provide a comfortable way of transfer between the new RER/GEN suburb railway system, the subway system and the inter-city train system. Remarkable is the new glass roof that will flank the exit of the tunnel used by cars and that actually attracts daylight into the subway station.

The subway station, a realization of “W.J. & M.C. Van Campenhout” will shortly be overhauled and will incorporate both subway and trains in the same space.

The information used for this article comes from the newsletter “GEN-krant” edited by the NMBS/SNCB-BELIRIS.

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Thurn & Taxis update

November 3, 2007

T&T Developent (2007)

Computer image courtesy of Ateliers LION, architectes & urbanistes, Paris.

Some time passed since the latest update on the Thurn & Taxis site development in Brussels. This ancient industrial site close to the city centre harboured once the Belgian Royal Warehouses. Due to the opening of European borders and the evolution of transport, the site was put for sale in the late 80’s and became abandoned little by little.

An early development project at the beginning of the year 2000 proposed “Music City”. This was a project that foreseed the reconversion of the Royal Depots into a huge concert hall. As far as I remember there were concerns on the roof structure that wasn’t protected yet back then. The project met with lots of opposition and got abandoned.

In 2001, Robelco and Lease Invest mounted a joined venture named T&T. The hunting for a new development was open. They attracted study and design teams to effect a thorough feasability study. And today we know the results of that study. The picture below shows a rendering picture containing some early lines of force for the developement of the site. Basically, nothing will happen there at all! It’s just a 13 in a dozen drawing with some greenery fields – call it “a parc”. A pity they did not portray the cows and sheep…

The humble tower at the upper south of the site (upper right) is nothing but a down toning of the ambitious visions of specialized teams around well known architecture critics. Well – honestly – it’s not from a big “promotor” that we should expect architectural statements – at the utmost some modern commercial rubbish. That’s why I already proclaim the Brussel’s Tour & Taxis / Thurn & Tassis site tis decade’s flop!

Comments are welcome…

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The iPhone in Brussels

October 13, 2007

iPhone in BrusselIt was rumored for a certain time in different Belgian newspapers, and here’s the proof; the iPhone is for sale in at least one Brussel’s phone shop. In a corner between tons of different phone models I found this bare beauty. Price to pay : 995 Euros!

Probably they solved a simple problem in arithmetic: A return ticket Brussels / New York City (405€), a hotel stay (100€) and a cosy restaurant dinner in Little Italy, say 95€. Next, a stop down the Apple Store’s glass cube on Fifth Avenue for a magic box of iPhone; 399$. The vendor would have some 100€ of pocket money paid by their boss. But it seems to me to be more likely that they shipped some pretty greyish specimen of the iPhone giving themselves some fine gratuity for this holiday season.I didn’t feel myself quite excited – actually this specimen was stored behind glass in a plain show-case. Crazy people that felt the urge to spend 1000€ buying themselves this pretty gadget; feel free to comment!

( This post also appeared on www.brusselblogt.be )

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The photo mystery…

October 4, 2007

Wie woont er in het Justitiepaleis?

To my great surprise I found this photograph on the brunofm programme’s blog. The author did it’s very best to camouflage the origin of the picture; saturation and contrast were adjusted and the image’s frame nicely cropped. Especially look at the white stripes of cloud and the shades of pink and orange below the clouds, they really are the same, as is the perspective. Check out my original photograph, taken last month:

Reference (Justitiepaleis by fvdb)

Now, not that I care that much – I’m not a professional photographer – but a small mail or a notice I would have appreciated.

So, my question towards you, readers : Do you often take photo’s from the web, without realizing who made them? I think we all do… Other comments ( on this photograph ) are also welcome!

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Schweitzer Square Blog

September 22, 2007

Schweitzer (P.M.)

Since I joined B612associates last week, I was working on the project of the Schweitzer Square renewal in Brussels. Wheather you live in Berchem (Brussels) or elsewhere, you probably have already seen some press releases on the project.

In this post I would like to make you aware that we at B612 mounted a blog which contains the latest information on the project. The main purpose of this blog is to encourage the participation of all different groups involved in the square’s renewal. Next monday, 22 september, we organize some workshops together with YOTA. The workshops are open for all inhabitants and commercants in Berchem. You’re all invited. Find out more on the programme at http://www.b612.be/schweitzer/

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Design September 2007

September 2, 2007

Design September 2007

This month Design September programs a series of events on the theme of design, held in various places around the capital of Belgium between the 9th and 30th September.

The challenge is to create synergies and bridges between the various independent and active organizations concerned with design by offering them a platform and showcase on a national scale and beyond the borders of the country.

Design September consists of various exhibitions, open days and special events and starts with a triptych of exhibitions about the design icons Eero Saarinen (link) and the Eames couple (link), and about the Vienna Secession Years in Brussels (link). Also programmed are the official opening of the Cityscape by the Belgian designer Arne Quinze (cityscape.be) on September 14th, and some lectures at Flagey (flagey.be) like the one on September 20th by Alain Berteau, the Belgian design king that created products for companies such as BULo, Montis and Fange, or a lecture by the Paris based Jakob+MacFarlane about their most recent projects, including a new Brussels building complex.

Personally you will find myself at the re-opening of the so called Parckdesign, an exhibition on the results of a competition for innovative urban furniture at the Jardins du Fleuriste near the Atomium in Brussels. Among these designs, no more than 46 Belgian entries! Another of my personal favourites is the Designer’s Open Doors weekend on 15 and 16 September for which famous and less famous Belgian designers open their workshops and boutiques.

– View the programme at designseptember.be

– Read more in the special issue of Weekend Knack (appears on September 12th, together with Knack)

(This post is written by Francisvdb, and cross-posted on Behive)

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Royal Crown Hotel Brussels: “looknzoom”

August 19, 2007

Royal Crowne Hotel - Room

“Shhhhh….. Can you keep a secret?”

The title of their campaign makes me believe my article won’t be very propriate. But since it concerns the make-over of the Brussels Royal Crown Hotel, I might harm that supposition.

The hotel, situated in the Koningsstraat/Rue Royale in the city centre of Brussels, right next to the Botanical Gardens, had been subject of renovation for the last few months, if not a lot longer now. The exterior walls were dressed in a sleek flower-print which gave the pale wall a fresh touch. And now, the hotel reveals its inside project, for which this stylish outside decoration seemed a foretoken.

Within the next few weeks, the traditional seventies interior will give place to a brand new, bright, and modern inside. The lobby and reception have already been transformed into an attractive, bright space. But these days, no more than 30 artists are painting gigantic 13.5sqm wall paintings on the walls of each of the 307 rooms. The artists are students, graduates and postgraduates from the ELIA (European League of Institutes of the Arts) member institutions. In a cooperation between the league and the hotel, they mounted a project, called “Bloom!”, in which each room can be painted and decorated by a different (student) artist. Students from over 30 countries will be put up and supported in a logistic and in a creative way. Registrations on their website are still open, so it seems to me that the process of renovation will last some more weeks; some hundred walls are painted for now.

Fot those out there who’d like to visit our capital; the only way to see the rooms for yourself is to book a night at the Royal Crown Hotel, which name will be subject of change later on this year. A website with pictures of the rooms will be available soon, for those who’d prefer a hostel. In the meanwhile they’ve put up a teaser website at www.looknzoom.com

sources: Knack Weekend/Design News, Royal Crown Hotel and looknzoom.

(This post is written by Francisvdb, and cross-posted on Behive – a webmagazine on Belgian Culture)