In spring 2018, the European Commission launched an architectural competition to build its new headquarters in Brussels. The competition was open to teams of architects, landscape architects and engineers from all over the world, who were invited to present their vision of the future complex.
The program included the creation of 90.000 square meters of offices, two childcare centers with 500 places, 3.000 square meters of shops and restaurants and a Visitor Center open to the public and devoted to the European Commission, its understanding, construction and challenges.
In July 2019, Christian de Portzamparc’s team, composed of the Artelia engineering consultancy and landscape architect Florence Mercier, was awarded second prize out of 30 selected consortia, following two competition phases.
Moving away from a purely office-centered vision of the European Commission, the project led by Christian de Portzamparc creates a large public square on the Rue de la Loi that pulls together the urban and architectural complex and anchors it in the city, along the major historical thoroughfare running from the Palais Royal to the Parc du Cinquantenaire.
In addition to creating a large number of offices, the program includes a “Visitor Center” open to the public and designed to promote understanding of the European Union, its construction and challenges, as a symbol or metonymy of the Union.
An outstanding feature of this project is the exceptional visibility of the Visitor Center on a square at the entrance to Rue de la Loi, the geometric center of the complex, which brings together the
European quarter, the Berlaymont, the Council of Europe and the new European Commission buildings.
The Visitor Center is a white enameled glass cube with a strong presence in the city. It conveys a sense of unity and the idea of the Union of nations bound by a common past and resolved to build a responsible future.
From September 5 to September 28, 2019, an exhibition will present the project along with those of other winners and the unsuccessful entries at each stage of the competition, from the launch to the Commission’s decision. Source by Portzamparc
- Location: Rue de la Loi 130, Brussels, Belgium
- Architect: Portzamparc
- Landscape architects: Florence Mercier
- Engineering consultancy : ARTELIA Bâtiment & Industrie
- Client: European Comission
- Award: 2nd prize awarded by the European Commission to the 2Portzamparc consortium
- Images: Courtesy of Portzamparc