- Heavy refurbishment and rooftop extension of the Ministry of Employment building rue Belliard in Brussels.
- The ambition to develop the potential of the MET’s city block in its existing form thereby proposing a sustainable solution within the built city center drove the team to consider rehabilitation, instead of demolition + new-build.[...]
Certainly this option avoids the production of an impressive quantity of non-recyclable waste matter, but the choice also generates a series of defying challenges: how to create inspiring workspaces in what initially feels like a very dull carcass? … how to establish spatial markers inside the existing labyrinth … how to bring character to what starts out as uninspiring space?
The first step is to ban all cars from the central courtyard, transforming it into an urban garden. The second is to recuperate the street-side porch and create a new, permeable link between the noisy, car-ridden boulevard and the surprisingly tranquil and leafy inner oasis.
Space is redefined through the use of light and color, imagined with the artist J. Glibert. The seemingly random apparition of colored glass (in fact carefully positioned following the interior layout) brings a playful note to the rigid grid of the existing façade … what goes on inside becomes the clincher when seen from the outside, making redundant any other formal intervention …
The MET has clearly benefited from the open-mindedness of its client. The result is a sensitive collective response highlighting otherwise forgotten qualities of Brussels’ existing building stock.
- Offices (include mixed use)
- Year of conception
- Year of delivery
- Axa Belgium sa
- Total budget
- 30 000 000
- Per square meters
- 32 000 HS & 9 700 SS
- Special techniques
- VK Engineering
- Jean Glibert
- Herpain Entreprises
rue Belliard 49-51/rue Marie de Bourgogne 55/rue Montoyer et rue d’Arlon
1040 Bruxelles (Etterbeek)