Redesign of European Community district awarded to the French architect
La rue de la Loi, the administrative heart of the EC in Brussels, is to be redesigned by French architect Christian de Portzamparc, one of five shortlisted in an international competition for the project. 35 firms entered the international competition hosted by the Brussels Capital Region in collaboration with the European Commission and the City of Brussels.
The competition is part of a grander plan to turn the European District in the city into a pilot eco-district. The aim for the Rue de la Loi itself is to add structure and easy navigation and to create accessible quality public space to the area which is currently dominated by offices and lacks a sense of culture and community. 'Soft' or ecologically friendly modes of transport are to be encouraged.
Portzamparc's design (in collaboration with Jacques Wirtz, Coteba Belgium and OVE ARUP) will add a tram link through the street and 390,000 sq m of floor space including 110,000 sq m of accommodation, 240,000 sq m of EC department space and 40,000 sq m of retail.
Out of the five shortlisted projects judges also commended a design by Fletcher Priest Architects for its human scale and public spaces and, in particular, for its inherent sustainability. Xaveer de Geyter Architecten (in collaboration with Michel Desvigne Paysagiste, Laurent Ney & Partners, TRITEL Mobilité and Resource Analysis), OMA (in collaboration with NFArchitects, Agence TER, OVE ARUP, DEGW and SETEC Partenaire Développement) and JDS Architects (in collaboration avec Studio Associato Secchi-Vigano , 3E , Laurent Ney & Partners and TRITEL Mobilité) were also shortlisted.
The five shortlisted projects will be exhibited in Brussels in June this year. The winning design will be elaborated upon over the next two years with works expected to commence in 2011.
Niki May Young