The Cosmopolitan

site Brussels, BE

architecture BOGDAN & VAN BROECK

team L. Croegaert, M. Czvek, M. Lefeber, M. Pocuch, S. Poot, T. Rigby, D. Stefanescu, L. Van Innis, T. Willemse

client Besix RED

structure Util

techniques Concept Control

acoustics ASM Acoustics

surface 16 000m²

Transformation of a high-rise office building into housing & commercial spaces in the center of Brussels

On a former quay in the now disappeared harbour of Brussels,, surrounded by former warehouses and next to the Royal Flemish Theatre, a 60s office tower rises above its neighbours. The style and scale of the construction contrasts with the local urban fabric, but, thanks to its free-standing implantation across the building block, the tower remains discreet and often unnoticed.

The site is cleared and opened up, asserting the visual and physical porosity through the block.

The linearity of the existing volume and the porosity of the site are reinforced by the creation of double-high V-shaped colonnades running along the commercial spaces on the ground floor and defining sheltered pedestrian circulations leading to the building’s entrances. Above these colonnades, a lightweight scaffold-like steel structure supports generous balconies and winter gardens. The movable perforated screens provide shading from the sun as well as protection from wind, and blur the opacity of the new white façades that elegantly dissipate into the sky.

This adaptive re-use project reinforces the existing potential of the site. It adds a large amount of quality housing in a mixed neighbourhood and aims for high density urban life that is less and less depending on car mobility.



stripping (photographs by Luca Beel)




execution (photographs by Sarah Poot)

all credits: BOGDAN & VAN BROECK (except if mentioned otherwise)


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