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Old April 10th, 2008, 07:12 PM   #1
hkskyline
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Fixing Brussels' EU Quarter

Brussels announces 'operation facelift' for EU quarter











BRUSSELS, April 10, 2008 (AFP) - The EU quarter of Brussels, decried as a permanent building site and traffic nightmare, will undergo a major facelift to "rectify the mistakes of the past," a European Commission spokeswoman said Thursday.

The EU's executive arm officially launched a competition "to define an urban design with a strong symbolic identity," giving priority to bicycles and public transport, public spaces and "buildings of high environmental quality and architectural value".

"Operation facelift" is due to start in 2011, said Valerie Rampi, spokeswoman for the European Commission on administrative affairs.

The idea is also to rein in the spread of the European Commission itself, which has offices on both sides of the central Rue de la Loi which houses both its headquarters and that of the European Council of member states.

The European Parliament building is nearby.

While the plan "implies" that the office area occupied by the EU's executive arm will more than double to 400,000 square metres "the idea is to encourage greater density in the zone via an increase in the floor/ground ratio," the commission said in its statement, meaning higher buildings are on the way.

Rampi said there was a need "to rectify the mistakes of the past".

"The European quarter has sprung up slightly haphazardly, without an overall project," she said.

"The idea is to create a total plan which reflects an image of European architecture," added Rampi.

Competition candidates have until the end of May to get their proposals in.

A winning design will be chosen in November by an advisory committee.

The "master pan" will be approved by Belgian regional authorities next April, the commission said.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 12:15 PM   #2
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Good, the EU quarter is very dull. When you walk around all you can see is walls. No shops or windows. And on the other sides the traffic rushes by at 70km/ph
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Old April 11th, 2008, 05:21 PM   #3
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Thank god, it's a mess now. Not at all worthy of a continent's (unofficial) capital.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 11:51 PM   #4
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It really has that bureaucracy feeling.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 02:01 AM   #5
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Wouldn't it make more sense to built a new "euro-district' from scratch somewhere on the outskirts of Brussels?
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Old April 15th, 2008, 11:41 AM   #6
Slartibartfas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallout View Post
Wouldn't it make more sense to built a new "euro-district' from scratch somewhere on the outskirts of Brussels?
To get one of those international organisation ghettos in the middle of nowhere?

Thats not what I would like to see. Moreover does the EU have massive office space in the EU quarter. While I have never been there in person I think its not impossible to transform it into a city quarter that could develop a minimum of urbanity. (Something like a ghetto in the periphery has not even the chance to develop such a thing)

What about the Parliament quarter btw? The Place de Luxembourg next to the Parliament, would look rather cozy or at least potentially gemütlich.

Btw, I found a nice areal of the Parliament in Brussels:
http://www.euro-village.be/General%2...24copy_001.jpg
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:06 PM   #7
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Does anyone have news on this issue?

I found an article on Wikipedia addressing the future of the EU quarter:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brussel...n_Union#Future
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:39 PM   #8
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 10:49 PM   #9
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You picture links don't work.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 12:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallout View Post
Wouldn't it make more sense to built a new "euro-district' from scratch somewhere on the outskirts of Brussels?
What Slartibartfas said. At least the EU district is currently near the heart of Brussel's city life and not stashed away in suburbian anonymity. Surely not how to bring the EU closer to the European public.
While I don't particularly mind the office 'wall' in the Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat, I do mind not even the tiniest of space is reserved for commercial activity. A coffee shop and a shop here and there would already do much to bring some life to the street.
However, there is the problem the European district is very dense (as is most of Brussels), so there isn't a lot of room create a focal point like the Mall is in Washington.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 07:48 PM   #11
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The idea is, I think, to create public spaces, like parcs and squares, where people can meet and where you can sit outside (in the summer). Also more appartements will be created. (I think an extra of 8.000 people) More architecture of quality (I don't know what is meant by that, I hope something good.) The idea is to build a "sympbolic" building that will represent Europe in Brussels. A new metroline will also be build. (if they find the money )
I'm sure we will have some renderings and plans soon...





Will these towers be build? Probably not...
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Old May 26th, 2008, 01:39 AM   #12
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Those towers would look neat from an architectural point of view. The question if how they would be viewed by the public, even though they probably would make sense for the aim to concentrate EU specific offices and create more space for civic life, apartments etc.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 09:40 AM   #13
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If they really want to infuse life in the neighborhood, they need to put a large swath of residential areas nearby. A nice set of civic spaces are only helpful during the day time when the area is busy with office workers. Come nightfall, it could easily disintegrate into a drug-infested wasteland.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 12:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
If they really want to infuse life in the neighborhood, they need to put a large swath of residential areas nearby. A nice set of civic spaces are only helpful during the day time when the area is busy with office workers. Come nightfall, it could easily disintegrate into a drug-infested wasteland.
Well, if I got their plans correct thats exactly what they want to do. Get more residential buildings back into the area.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #15
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I don't think of it as a typically Brussels problem, I think this is the case in a ton of European cities. Back in the fifties and sixties there was so much damage done to our cities, where so much was taken down just so they could build "New" and "Modern" stuff, context be damned. Was only for the last 10-20 years that we seem to have gotten some sanity back in our urban planning.

In the case of Brussels, with the EU, there was just more money available to destroy things in the EU quarter.
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Old September 8th, 2008, 08:46 PM   #16
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Any news?

Maybe I have some, there seems to be some progress at least what concerns the Rue de la loi west of the Berlaymont.

http://bustler.net/index.php/article...ussels_belgiu/

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