The imposing architecture and monumental scale of Brussels’ landscape are some of the characteristics that establish the personality of the city. A distinctive example of the aesthetic architecture that orients and at the same time governs the area of its presence is the Law Court. This proposal for the future formation of the Law Court of Brussels, Belgium by Europe Studio Architects moves in parallel to the existing frame and function of the building and proposes the re-establishment of the internal system that made this court a public social space in addition to its political and judicial functions. The monumental and programmatic aspects of the building will be preserved, with additions of cultural functions such as gallery and exhibition spaces.
More on this project after the break.
The Bronks Youth Theatre in Brussels consists of two halls, two holes in-between of which a central circulation shaft is situated. The staircase has the shape of a double helix with swing doors (coated with mirrors) placed on every intermediate landing. MDMA call it ‘the septum’. It regulates the use of the halls in a myriad of ways. MDMA tried to make the halls, materialized in concrete, float and soar in light. Apart of the staircases, circulation ‘around’, consist for a large part out of ramps. They render a sense of detachment from the horizontal, the horizon.
Architect: Martine de Maeseneer Architects (MDMA)
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Project Team: Gunnar Degerlid (Project Team), Xavier Callens, Annette Chu, Ruben Van Colenberghe, Kristiaan Van Weert, Kathleen Decock, Iris Van Rijsbergen
Structural Engineer: ABT Antwerp & BAS Jaspaert Leuven
M&E Engineer: BEC Brussels
Acoustics: Daidalos Peutz Leuven
Theatre Technics: TTAS Ghent
Safety Coordinator: Jos Van Loon Brussels
Project Area: 3,500 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Marie-Françoise Plissart, Filip Dujardin
The Belgian Buildings Agency and the Department of Justice recently announced the winners of their Brussels Courthouse: Imagine the Future International Ideas Competition. To make the issues of architecture and urban design more widely known, BOZAR Architecture has backed this initiative by hosting the awards ceremony and staging an exhibition of the entries at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels until May 15th. More images and description of winning entries after the break.
The project was to build a mansion into an art gallery with a housing for the gallery. Due to the existing strong image of the building, the architects were challenged to provide new spaces that contained the interest of the old spaces coupled with new modern gallery spaces. The design result is a mixture of existing staircase and new neon pink lights.
Follow the break for more on the Meessen De Clercq Gallery by Vanden Eeckhoudt – Creyf Architectes.
Architects: Vanden Eeckhoudt – Creyf Architectes
Location: Rue de l’Abbaye, 2 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Project Area: 600 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Courtesy of Vanden Eeckhoudt – Creyf Architectes
Amidst a block of more traditional houses in Bilzen, Brussels-based Bassam El-Okeily, in collaboration with Karla Menten, has squeezed a contemporary three storey residence. From the street, the project’s vastly unique façade screams for attention, yet the crazed internal geometry is contained by a flat piece of glass – a move that allows the project to assimilate better into its context. In the evening time, the façade is lit in different colors allowing the house to act as “a pubic light sculpture by night.”
More about the residence after the break.
Measuring 145 metres from top to bottom and counting 38 floors, Dexia Tower is the third highest building in Brussels, Belgium. In the middle of the Rogier Square the building shines like a beacon over the town. The Tower is visible from several major traffic arteries in the capital and is situated precisely in the middle of the Mint Square – North Station axis.
The Brussels’ Palace of Justice is a symbol for the power of Justice, dominates the skyline of Brussels and is a window to the past. Yet the stately justice building is hard to secure and to modernize.
In this context and taking into consideration the Belgian chairmanship of the European Union, the Belgian Buildings Agency and the Department of Justice are holding an international ideas contest under the name of ‘Brussels Courthouse: Imagine the future’.
The goal of the contest is to develop a vision about the future of this Courthouse. This vision will be expressed in one or more rough ideas regarding an architectural and urban project for the building and the surroundings of the Poelaert square. Rather than on finished urban development or architectural projects the contest focuses on ideas involving the functions of the Palace of Justice such as the future judicial or other functions of the building and the surroundings of Poelaert square.
he contest aims at experts from all countries in the fields of architecture, urban development and justice, engineers, trade engineers, artists… as well as at schools that are active in these sectors. For more information, go to the competition’s official website.
Pantone Inc’s claim to fame began 45 years ago with its revolutionary color matching system that allowed designers to reproduce accurate color anywhere in the world. Currently, the company is branching out and moving into lifestyle- oriented industries using the same color numbering system to guarantee an exactness of hue. As the company began expanding, Pantone decided to construct a hotel as part of the new “Pantone Universe” campaign. Designed by Michel Penneman and Oliver Hannaert, the hotel fully embodies the company, as “the hotel of colors… showcases the color of emotion with a distinctive hue on each colorous guest floor.”
More about the design of the hotel after the break.