Henning Larsen has unveiled its vision for Brouck’R, a city block transformation project facing Brussels’ busy Place de Brouckère. Inspired by traditional and contemporary heritage, the proposal generates a 21st-century, vibrant, mixed-use destination in the city center.
With a 48,000 m2 addition of commercial, residential, hotel and green space, the scheme aims to reclaim an area previously dominated by offices and introduces new communities for living and working. Designed in collaboration with Brussels-based studio a2rc and developers Immobel Group and BPI Real Estate, the urban renovation will also preserve the historical and recognizable character of the district, balancing “Brussels’s grand Belle Epoque structures with a contemporary approach to style and scale”.
Cities must be places where people can move freely and fluidly, finding personal ways to connect with the city around them. Brussels, while one of Europe’s oldest cities, has a rich urban fabric and thriving culture that makes it feel youthful. This, plus the city’s willingness to innovate and reinvent itself, makes this an incredibly exciting project to be involved in. -- Jacob Kurek, Henning Larsen Partner in charge of Brouck’R.
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Opening onto the grand Place de Brouckère, the project brings public life back to the center “that fell out of popular use as the city emphasized automobile and large-scale construction projects in the mid-20th century”. With strategies targeting pedestrian and civic life, Brouck’R creates 311 new residences, divided between typical apartments and student-geared accommodations. Ground levels will be dedicated to retail while courtyards will be wrapped in green gardens and walls.
The whole concept behind the scheme for Brouck’R is to bring back its original energy, to bring back the things that have been lost in translation over the years. We see it less as a new development than as a revival of an exciting, forgotten heritage.-- Jacob Kurek, Henning Larsen Partner in charge of Brouck’R.
With construction expected to start in mid-2021 and reach completion in 2024, Brouck’R, dedicated to the street-level activity, has 4 different urban facades. In fact, while the 19th-century facades lining the Place de Brouckère will remain, the other three façades “will appear continuous, broken down into modules that change every 18-20 meters”.
Much in the same way, Brussels tends to transform itself, our vision is about introducing accessibility, and permeability. The four elevations that face the street combine new design with existing architecture, with spaces in between offering glimpses into a green oasis at the center. Offering pleasant views to those who populate the block, it is the calm flipside to and Scandinavian influence on the bustling urbanity at Place de Brouckère. -- Jacob Kurek, Henning Larsen Partner in charge of Brouck’R.