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BUUR | bureau voor urbanisme cvba Sluisstraat 79 / 03.02 B-3000 Leuven p: +32 16 898550 | f: +32 16 898549 | e:


Office overview

Who are we? BUUR stands for “bureau for urbanism”. It’s the name of a team of young, motivated, multi-disciplinary urban designers with an office in Leuven (BE). The team consists of 39 collaborators (March 2013). BUUR (the Dutch word for ‘neighbor’) is a letter word. In the same time it’s a striking expression for our commitment towards the city as a social network and the urban space as a qualitative and future-oriented living environment. BUUR is specialized in urbanism in the broadest sense of the word. We create and develop urban projects through an integrated approach: a combination of masterplanning, the layout of public space, landscape and infrastructure, strategic spatial planning and project support. This specialization of our fields of expertise is a deliberate choice, inspired by a strong sense for quality and craftsmanship. Together with the public and private actors, we give shape to the transformation of the urban landscape. Therefore, our projects must be feasible, sustainable and visionary. Taking the unique qualities of each individual space as a starting point, BUUR wants to create visions, plans and projects that make our living environment more pleasant, more efficient and more inspiring.

Mission: visionary plans and strategic projects Urban projects give shape to our cities and transform our living environment: hence they should be visionary, feasible and sustainable. Regardless of the size or the location, BUUR always tries to create masterplans and public spaces that make a city more efficient, more pleasant and more inspiring. BUUR was founded in 2006 in Belgium, and in the meantime has established a solid experience in the Belgian and European planning context. We have successfully developed masterplans to create a framework for various architecture projects that can shape an intended urban metamorphosis. With our designs for the public space we try to create spaces that not only touch and stimulate emotionally, but in the meantime make the growing complexity, diversity and unpredictability of our contemporary society experienceable.


Research by design is for BUUR the main method to question problems and potentials of cities. In this way we try to formulate innovating and creative answers to the continuously evolving urban questions. We consider the urban design as an essential instrument in the development of a masterplan or an urban project, in the way that we don’t only design final solutions, but also formulate the road towards them and the discourse necessary to engage the stakeholders for the project. Since urban development can only be sustainable if it is integrated in a broader spatial-temporal framework, we have recently deepened our expertise in strategic planning. This will enable us to generate a result driven alternative replacing the passive planning culture mainly focusing on regulations. Our strategies are multisectoral and can be verified and realized within a spatial framework. Faced with the increasing complexity of the spatial and social aspects of urban issues, we work close together with experts in other fields such as social economics, environment, mobility... Meanwhile our team is renowned for the passion with which we tackle ambitious urban projects. We always try to involve every stakeholder, because as urbanists we appreciate the personal expertise of inhabitants, we listen to the concerns of policymakers and we integrate the conditions of the private sector in our masterplans. This is only possible in a team that combines a creative vision and imagination with technical knowledge, solid management skills and the necessary communication skills. In order to get more insight, develop our know-how and methodology, and improve our services, we made a deliberate choice to invest in applied research that is carried out both inhouse and externally. In the last case, we work together with research centers and other experts. Finally BUUR is also intrigued by and sympathetic towards the symbiotic relationship between the natural and the built landscape. In our projects and our research we develop ways to keep this relationship balanced and expand it further where possible. All the collaborators of BUUR share a passion for urbanism in the broadest sense of the word. We believe that we, in every project and on every location, can use our expertise to make a difference.

Office overview

Our projects

Our fields of expertise

BUUR carries out missions for both public authorities and private project developers. The team designs urban projects that generate a maximum social surplus-value within an economic, market compliant context. The experience that BUUR has acquired from sitting at both sides of the negotiating table is an important asset when working on projects commissioned by public authorities and private contractors. Whatever the project, whoever the contractor, BUUR will always remain faithful to its main objective: creating qualitative but feasible urban projects.

Urban planning involves much more than drawing up master plans. The success of a project is determined by a wide range of key factors, such as: its integration within a strong and larger vision; its flexibility and stability; its social and economic feasibility; the quality of the public space; the drawing up of an appropriate legal framework; a high quality process and project management; the creation of public support through negotiation with external actors and participation of the population.... The setup of an urban project requires the contribution of several disciplines.

Every BUUR project is based on the local context and the contractor’s needs. BUUR provides a full service package and tailor-made projects. The mission approach is positive but critical, and will always take into account the interests and priorities of the contractor. Loyalty is one of BUUR’s key principles. BUUR’s reputation is well-established in het Flemish and Brussels Region. The team has won renown for the following urban plans: development of the ‘Prestibel’ site (Antwerp, Left Bank); the canal area of Louvain; the railway station neighborhood of Ghent ‘Sint-Pieters’; the ‘Tour&Taxis’ site in Brussels. BUUR has been commissioned by de Brussels Government to draw up a strategic master plan for the redevelopment of the wider area around the VRT/RTBF site (Reyers project).

The drawing up of master plans (urban projects) is BUUR’s core activity. Through research by design, BUUR checks the meaning, the potential and the possibilities of the spatial environment. The urban project provides a prospective image of the projected development and details the subjacent visions and guidelines. The master plan presents a preferential and possible execution based on well-supported presumptions. BUUR considers the designing of the public space as an important lever for the realization of urban projects. The public space, including the traffic infrastructure and the landscape, constitutes the backbone of the urban environment. BUUR also carries out mobility studies and performs functional landscape design that includes infrastructure.

Moreover, the team is often selected to participate in contests. As such, BUUR has already won several ‘Open Oproep’ competitions organized by the ‘Vlaamse Bouwmeester’. Within this context, BUUR has most recently been selected to design the administration center of Zulte (in conjunctionn with ‘Goedefroo+Goedefroo architecten’) and to draw up the master plan and the SEP for the landscape park ‘Fort Liezele’ in Puurs.

Elements of strategic and spatial planning are systematically integrated in the design processes initiated by BUUR. An ambitious long term vision, connected to a feasible short term action program, acts as a framework. A Special Development Plan or Spatial Execution Plan guarantees flexibility and legal security and stipulates the urban guidelines. BUUR also has the necessary experience with regard to structure planning.

In Brussels, BUUR has been selected by the jury presided by the ‘Brussels Bouwmeester’ to establish the development plan for the ‘Marco Polo’ site. By its recent participation in competitions organized in the Walloon Region, Germany and France, BUUR has extended its traditional activity radius and is now ready to compete at European level.

A solid project support provides the appropriate framework for these three fields of expertise. The feasibility of urban projects often depends on the goodwill of a large number of partners. Tailored process management allows to involve the right actors at the right time while spatial project management steers the project implementation in all its aspects. Public authorities, private actors and architects can also ask BUUR to provide them with advice and support. The team has also acquired a wide expertise with regard to participation paths and communication processes.

Most recently, BUUR has been selected to design the public domain of the ‘Kievit’ square in Antwerp (in conjunction with Hosper and ARA).

Finally, BUUR is also carrying out applied research within a larger urban spectrum, which allows the team to continue developing its know-how, insights and methodology, and improve its service.


Office overview


Working environment

BUUR is headed by a dynamic team that has a strong desire to keep the company at a manageable size, which implies that qualitative reinforcement prevails over quantitative growth. The team’s structure has been set up in such a way that BUUR is able to continue its growth in a sustainable and controlled manner.

BUUR was set up in Louvain where it is still located today.

Last February, BUUR consisted of 40 team members, coming from different regions and countries. ASSOCIATES Johan Van Reeth

Arnout Vandenbossche

Kathleen Van de Werf

Jonas Vanneste

Roel Stessens

Jeroen Camerlinckx

Jan Hamerlinck

Jens Aerts


Miek Bruyninckx

Florence Vannoorbeeck

Jan Custers

Laura Vescina

Nathalie Bohez Rubiano

Stéphanie De Deken

Miechel De Paep

Charlotte Deckers

Anna Sans Orriols

Rémi Vandurme

Berno Bosch

Jo Decoster

Bart Logist Kevin Penalva-Halpin Maritza Toro Lopez Dagnachew Aseffa

Diego Luna Quintanilla

Edoardo Saba

Roberto Genna


Claudia Wiegand

Nina Reyntjens

Christophe Eraly

Michaël Cloet

Katerina Dimadi

GEOGRAPHER - URBANIST Juliette Dujardin ADMINISTRATION Ariane Beelen Kristel Van Roelen Christel Claes


Our new office located in the former brewery ‘De Hoorn’ is the ideal environment to carry out our working philosophy and motivate our teams to deliver high quality projects. The choice of moving into the new business center ‘Creative Minds’ located in the canal area of Louvain has also a symbolic value because it reflects our vision on sustainable urban development. Indeed, the canal area is the perfect demonstration of a successful reconversion of a strategic place in the city, where people are invited to meet and where the industrial heritage with unique architectural qualities has been fitted for contemporary needs and innovative environmental performances. The business center is located in the former historic brewery of Stella Artois that has been entirely renovated. The annex building has been stripped, opened up and connected to the new construction. Bars, restaurants, cultural activities and working spaces are gathered in one building, situated in the middle of a neighborhood full of brownfields that cries out to be developed and opened up. The office is a statement, both in terms of building and location. In a way of speaking, it is the literal translation of an urban redevelopment process that is carried out inside our office on the design table and outside on the building sites. Inside the building complex, a lot of space has been left unassigned to encourage interaction and exchange.

Office overview

URBAN DESIGN | Designing the sustainable development of the urban landscape

The urbanization of our working and living environment has resulted into diffuse and scattered spaces that have become hard to define, develop and control. At the same time, society wants the urban landscape to be filled with qualitative landmarks able to constantly generate new programs and experiences that meet new social needs such as the demographic growth, the climate changes, mobility, environment, identity, social cohesion... The development of these spaces is no longer realized by dividing the available open space in well-defined parcels, but by planning the strategic transformation of the existing landscape. Every intervention in this space is not only related to architecture, plots or planning, but also requires a special kind of expertise. The drawing up of master plans (urban projects) is BUUR’s core activity. Through research by design, BUUR checks the meaning, the potential and the possibilities of the spatial environment. The urban project provides a prospective image of the projected development and details the subjacent visions and guidelines. The master plan presents a preferential and possible execution based on well-supported presumptions. The urban project is the urban translation of a spatial vision. This vision goes beyond the strict perimeter of the project area and defines the (potential) meaning of the space for its wider environment. This method allows maximizing the structuring power of the project which will be used as leverage for its environment. This vision, often visualized through spatial concepts, allows to define a certain number of essential project choices, i.e. the spatial guidelines, which will be further detailed and refined according to a concrete spatial image. Every urban project designed by BUUR is based on a thorough exploration of the space and its environment. This method allows to maximize its potential and identity, and to provide solutions for existing problems.


The urban project refers to both the process and the result. As a process, the urban project is a form of research by design aiming to bring out the meaning, the potential and the possibilities of the space in question. The research by design allows to define programs, crystalize visions and formulate alternatives. The urban project constitutes a synthesis between diverging and sometimes even contradictory preconditions stipulated by the stakeholders. The design process also allows to study the technical, economic and social feasibility of the project proposal. The comprehension and feasibility test eventually leads to an optimization of the master plan. As a result, the urban project offers a prospective vision of the proposed development. The project plan details the subjacent visions and guidelines. It does not constitute a blueprint of a well-determined final situation, but a preferential and possible execution based on basic assumptions and well-supported presumptions. Once validated, the urban project becomes a powerful and inspiring tool for the detailed realization and implementation of the project. The urban project is more and more used by both the public authorities and private actors as a tool to elaborate a vision and prepare strategies. The master plan frequently starts from an abstract need; concrete conditions and program possibilities only emerge during the research by design. The exploration and the preconditions may result in an action program depending on the validation and the implementation of the master plan. By their sustainable, synthetic and prospective nature, urban projects result into concrete investments and subsidies granted by private developers and public funds. BUUR has gained general renown with several of its master plans. Some of the urban projects address the specific challenges of railway station neighborhoods and urban central spaces; others focus on the reconversion of brownfields, the reinforcement of village centers, the sustainable opening of expansion zones and the revitalization of constructions blocks. Among our more recent urban projects, we want to mention the master plan for the urban and landscape development of the ‘Sledderlo’ neighborhood in Genk; the master plan for the railway station neighborhood of Geraardsbergen; the urban project for the redevelopment of the canal area of Louvain and the master plan for the leverage area Reyers, commissioned by the Brussels Government.

DESIGNING THE PUBLIC SPACE | Creating spaces for public life

as a public space. As a result of that approach, the layout is dominated by aspects that are mainly traffic and engineering related. However, the public space, infrastructure included, constitutes the backbone of the urban(ized) environment. The public space is not only defined by its program and design, but also (and mainly) by its position in the urban structure and the buildings that surround it. BUUR considers the design of the public space as a logic component of the urban project. This is why the team always starts by studying the urban form and the meaning of the space.

The public space, consisting of the urban space on the one hand and the open space on the other hand, is the architectural touchstone that reflects the day-to-day life of our society. Within the urban space, squares and streets are unique places for (cultural) meetings, trade and mobility; the open space is defined by the ecologic value of water and other natural systems, and may include recreation and cultural functions. The public space is under constant pressure as a result of a more intensive and commercial use, climate changes, traffic congestion and vandalism. Moreover, the network of public spaces within in a scattered, urbanized environment is often non-existing and unfinished, or lacks identity. However, every spatial context needs central, public spaces that constitute the backbone of our daily environment. A dynamic urban environment requires a public space that has the necessary capability and flexibility to adapt itself to a changing and more intensive use. In the fragile open space however, the human impact must be restricted in order to obtain a balance between recreation and ecology, use and nature. This implies that we have to seize every possible opportunity to realize and plan new types of public spaces; master plans will allow us to define a clear, balanced and qualitative framework for public activities. BUUR considers the design of the public space as an important leverage for qualitative urban projects. The public space, including the traffic infrastructure, constitutes the backbone of the urban environment. Mobility studies and infrastructure design also belong to our fields of expertise. Through its landscape projects, BUUR explores the antithesis of its urban projects.

Through our public space projects, we intent to create places that not only move and stimulate people, but also make the increasing complexity, diversity and unpredictability of today’s social life easier to experience and ‘fit for living’. Although the design and the management of public spaces is strictly spoken only a matter of the public authorities and contractors, BUUR also defines qualitative (semi) public spaces for private developers. The public space does not only give shape to the typical structure of streets and squares, but is also a qualitative precondition for private developments. BUUR has decided to further develop its expertise with regard to public space, landscape and infrastructure design. Within this specific context, BUUR has designed tramway tracks in urban roads and landscapes; set out master plans for the public domain; realized the redesign of roads/passages in village centers and designed squares and parks. Among the our recent design projects, we want to point out the redesign of the public domain of the ‘Kievit’ square in Antwerp (in conjunction with Hosper and ARA); the master plan for the landscape park ‘Fort Liezele’ in Puurs; the redesign of the ‘Koning Boudewijn’ park; the redesign of the tram axis between the railway station ‘St. Pieter’ and the ‘Kouter’ in Ghent. The urban projects and the strategic planning also present a vision on the public space, the landscape and the infrastructure. Within this context, we mention more in specific the master plan for ‘Sledderlo’; the vision on the Albert beach in Knokke; as well as the design and the study for the four new tramway connections of the public transport company De Lijn in the province of Flemish Brabant.

Today, the development of the public space is often reduced to a mere functional and/or aesthetic operation that does not take into account the meaning, the vocation and the structure of the public space. From a strategic point of view, the Flemish and Brussels’ authorities do not consider traffic infrastructure

Office overview

STRATEGIC PLANNING | Progressive realisation of a long term vision

possible to obtain funds or investments. A certain number of BUUR’s urban projects have been selected by the Flemish government and have obtained subsidies through the so called ‘stadsvernieuwingsfonds’ (fund for urban renewal). BUUR also assists public authorities in submitting requests for subventions and writing project definitions and requirement programs. Structure planning is another activity of BUUR. It aims the creation of a planning frame and enables the authorities to develop their spatial strategy. In this context, the Spatial Structure Plan of Louvain is one of BUUR’s most important realizations. As member of a multidiscipline team, BUUR is currently assisting the Brussels Capital Region in the drawing up of a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development.

Urban planning starting from scratch has become a thing of the past. Cities are determined by a continuous renewal and by their ability to adapt themselves starting from an existing situation. So it has become more essential than ever to frame short time interventions within a long term vision. Interventions will be considered as ‘smart’ if they have an impact on a larger whole or fit within a large scale vision. This is why strategic planning is so important. It allows defining sustainable spatial developments that will be realized through well-chosen leverage projects. An ambitious long term vision, connected to a workable action program for the short and midlong term, will act as a powerful framework. To have a look at the urbanized space and define long term, tailored-made and sustainable urban developments, we need to take a step back. This method enables us to generate a result driven alternative that replaces the merely regulating, passive planning culture which has frequently proven itself not being able to initiate concrete developments and spatial quality. Moreover, we aim to develop strategies that go beyond sectors and can be verified and realized within a spatial framework. Faced with the increasing complexity of social issues including a spatial component, we work together with experts specialized in other fields such as socio-economics, environment, mobility... The processing and interpretation of GIS data and other statistic data have become an essential part of our procedures. The strategic and spatial planning (or a combination of both) concern missions that are related to the development and the design of a wider area. In this case, we first of all want to give shape to a vision and create a consistent political frame. In subsidiary order, research by design may allow to refine the vision, check the latter and convert it into feasible projects. BUUR systematically integrates the principles of strategic planning into its design processes. By basing the strategic objectives on well-supported arguments and defining them within existing or new political frameworks, it becomes


Certain strategic aspects of leverage projects are frequently used for urban development. In the case of master plans, the visions on landscape and traffic used for the infrastructure design, act as a catalyst to develop urban development and open up space for sustainable multimodality. BUUR has realized in conjunction with Stratec a strategic intent for the landscape and traffic design of the entire Brussels’ middle ring road. This strategic intent determines the investment policy of the Region’s ‘Studies and Projects Management’ and the Brussels’ public transport company MIVB/STIB. The concept plan for the redesign of the Meiser square translates the principles of the strategic intent and initiates the new traffic infrastructure. The Flemish public bus service company De Lijn has asked BUUR to study the extension of the coast tram between Koksijde and Veurne (Neptunus project) on the basis of a funnel study. In the last years, the Brussels Capital Region has acquired a special expertise in skyscraper visions. These visions consider the need or the unavoidability of scale increase as an opportunity to reinforce the urban structure, provided that the quality preconditions are applied. BUUR has drawn up a skyscraper vision for the city of Ghent. This mission includes among other things a location study on macro scale that lists all the areas that could be used for the construction of skyscrapers, as well as the development of a methodology to assess the quality of skyscraper projects. For the moment being, BUUR is working on a skyscraper vision for the city of Louvain.

PROJECT SUPPORT | Building a support and facilitate the execution

In Flanders, public-private partnerships have long time been considered from a merely financial-legal point of view. With time, people started to realize that a PPP project requires a performing urban framework that defines and dictates the spatial quality. BUUR has assisted several public and private actors in preparing partnership agreements that stipulate the mutual engagements (Prestibel, ‘Kop’ of Kessel-Lo, VRT/RTBF site, Imec…).

Urban projects are often characterized by their complexity. The feasibility of urban projects often depends on the goodwill of an important number of partners. One of BUUR’s major priorities is to prevent that plans become mere filing material. BUUR’s goal is the eventual implementation of all its vision proposals. Well-defined process steering allows involving the right actors at the right time in order to create a project that is supported by all the stakeholders. The implementation of a project is managed in all its aspects through spatial project management. It implies the drawing up and the execution of an action program, as well as the cyclic refining of the urban project. Policy support is essential to consolidate the necessary support from the involved authorities. This is a standard procedure within the scope of long term missions such as frame contracts for local authorities; it can also be used as an ‘ad hoc’ procedure when carrying out consulting or project steering missions. BUUR can provide its public and private contractors with the necessary project assistance in order to create a support for all the parties involved and facilitate the project implementation.

Previous to the DBFM mission aiming the realization of the second bridge over the Scheldt in Temse, BUUR has translated the policy objectives into a spatial reference project that acted as a framework for the PPP procedure. The project was used to draw up binding and directive urban preconditions as part of the tender. The same approach has been applied previously to the design-and-build mission for the redesign of the N19 in Geel Punt (including the new exit complex on the E313 and a new bridge over the Albert canal). The chances of success of new projects also strongly depend on the social support. Adequate participation methods allow the population to participate in the process in a constructive and meaningful way. BUUR organizes information sessions and hearings to comment its projects. The team knows how to translate its projects into accessible, understandable and prospective communication. Throughout the years, BUUR has acquired the necessary expertise with regard to policy communication and neighborhood participation within the field of spatial planning, urbanism and design of the public domain. BUUR masters the different aspects with regard to communication and participation: writing of the communication plan, content management, graphic visualization of the means of communication, organization of the participation processes and paths…

Most of the projects of BUUR include process steering. It requires from our team members extensive process skills (openness to negotiation, team spirit, responsiveness, empathy and constructive attitude) and mental flexibility (ability to adapt themselves according to the dynamics and the ongoing processes).

During the drawing up of the master plan ‘Sledderlo’ (Genk), BUUR has been working in close cooperation with the “neighborhood ambassadors” who mainly represented the allochthonous population that was also responsible for the distribution of information. The BUUR team also published a clearly written newsletter that reported in an accessible way on the latest steps in the plan process and was distributed on a regular basis in every household.

The realization of the Spatial Structure Plan of Louvain as well as the consensus it obtained, is mainly due to a strictly managed plan process. With regard to the ‘Prestibel’ site (Antwerp), BUUR’s role as intermediary between the developer and the city of Antwerp has been a key factor to finally reach a common development vision for the project.

Finally, the drawing up of Spatial Execution Plans must be considered as a form of project implementation. In case of certain master plans, the SEP constitutes an important step in the realization of urban projects (such as the SEP for the central area of Denderleeuw); it can also be the next step of the detailed master plan.



AKI Kievit Neighbourhood | Antwerp

The project ‘KIEVIT IN HET GROEN’ of the Belgian-Dutch team BUUR – HOSPER, associated with ARA, has won the international design competition ‘Kievit Phase II’ organized by the city of Antwerp. The concept of BUUR - HOSPER has been set up around three basic components: identity, greenery and shelter. The public space of the Kievit neighbourhood has a threefold function: international oriented entrance of the central railroad station; urban working space; green space for the residents. This is the reason why the project focuses on a strong identity: as conciliating element between the different atmospheres and users; as structuring public domain for the entire neighbourhood (both old and new). The green touch was a well determined choice. The heavy green structure offers consistency to the neighbourhood as a whole and gives it an urban green character and image. Trees will be planted at every available spot and will determine the characteristic ’all seasons’ aspect of the area. The project also includes ‘green cushions’: they shape the space and offer shelter through informal green play gardens and seating places. New planted, vertical walls will be part of this green identity. The project also integrates all the necessary spatial and infrastructural connections, liberating the Kievit neighbourhood from its former isolation. The neighbourhood will be rooted in its surroundings by explicit spatial connections both in north-south and east-west direction.



Kievit Neighbourhood | Antwerp

Relation with the region

Relation with the city

Relation with the neighbourhood




ALB Albert beach | KnokkeHeist

The private project developer nv Olste has charged BUUR with the realisation of an urban vision for the part of the Albert beach that stretches from the seashore to the ‘Elisabethlaan’ located in the back. The most westerly construction block of the Albert beach will be developed as the pilot project of this vision. The vision focuses on a reinforcement of the beach’s identity in terms of built environment and public space, and this at the scale of both the city of Knokke-Heist and the Belgian coastline. A new urban planning will break the monotony of the ‘Atlantic Wall’ and create relationships between the coast and the urban fabric in the back. The entire Albert beach will be developed as an attractive and qualitative space to live, dedicated to recreation and event happenings where the characteristic landscape features of the coast will be revealed in all their aspects. The concept designed by BUUR creates a frame of public space that will enhance the beach’s existing tank shaped form and exploit the widened beach that will result from sustainable coast management. The frame consists of a combination of parallel systems along the seashore on the one hand and transversal connections on the other hand. A hiking path along the dune belt will create an additional parallel system between the dyke and the sea, which invites to a more natural beach experience. The transversal connections will link the parallel systems and intensify the relationship between the beach and the urban fabric. The frame creates a highly qualitative public space and organizes the program of the Albert Beach. A public underground car park could be built beneath the dyke. The development strategy will be further detailed at the scale of the dyke and the construction block, by using a typology of transversal multi-storey elements allowing the demolition of empty buildings located in the existing construction block through a compensation of square meters.


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Albert beach | KnokkeHeist

localisation Albert beach



concept Albert beach

urban tissue in the back

section: towards more variation in beach experience


on the crossing of transversal connections and the dune path looking towards the new skyline

from Atlantic Wall to Atlantic City – from beach dyke to coast landscape



BIE Masterplan Biestebroeck

The Biestebroek Dock is an underexploited part of the canal area located in the south of the Brussels-Capital Region, surrounded by several neighbourhoods characterized by a high level of densification. By analogy with other urban transformation projects in the canal area, the development program requires a new definition, a new relationship and a common spatial consistency: space for the harbour logistics, the economic activities, housing and public equipment. To define a future vision for this strategic part the Brussels Region and to translate it into a land use plan, the city of Anderlecht, in consultation with the BrusselsCapital Region, has charged the temporary union BUUR-Aries Consultant to elaborate a Land Use Plan. To develop a vision that is supported by both the regional and local public authorities, BUUR has first drawn up a masterplan with guidelines for future developments. These guidelines have been based on an overall diagnosis of the urban space, the social economic reality, the mobility and the projects that have been set up in the surroundings. A public walk, a survey and thematic workshops have been organized during the diagnosis phase to inform all the involved key players. The masterplan defines six project lines: the banks of the canal; the ‘chaussée de Mons’ and the connection to the left bank; the ‘rue Wayez’ including a new commercial cluster; the intermodal RER junction, next to the bridge of Curegem; the economic area on the right bank; the valley structure of the Senne river. Each project line has its own functional features, presents a particular approach with regard to traffic development and translates the plan into programs for buildings and public space. The contamination of certain parcels requires specific scenarios with regard to the development program and the densification of the right bank, depending on the financing modalities (whether private or public) that will be used for the soil and groundwater purification. Subprojects have been set up for each individual project line after the completion of the masterplan.



Masterplan Biestebroeck

Synergy between a local and regional planning context BUUR has proposed a procedure that is similar to the planning methodology used by the Brussels-Capital Region for strategic sites of regional importance, called ‘leverage zones’. It consists in the elaboration of a masterplan that is supported by the largest possible number of key players, before starting the formal process that is legally determined to draw up a Special Land Use Plan. The masterplan aims to be a short and medium term tool that is used to rally all the stakeholders that are involved in the future of a given neighbourhood around one common development vision. Indeed, this vision can only be realized after a certain period of time and requires the active support of the residents, the city, the region, de private players and all the concerned institutions. To create this support, BUUR has integrated in the diagnosis phase a public walk around the different typical activities of the neighbourhood. This guided tour with explanation of the owners or tenants included a visit to the local shops in the ‘rue Wayez’; the Atlas site; the protected workshop ‘Travail et Vie’; a company along the ‘boulevard Industrie’; and the boat accommodating the youth centre ‘Le Sémaphore’. People who wanted to, could fill in a survey. A workshop revolving around four topics has been organized with a small number of key players. Other activities consisted in the set up of bilateral concertations with the public authorities. This concertation eventually resulted in a pre-Masterplan. At the same time, the Brussels-Capital Region has started a procedure for change of the current Regional Land Use Plan, called the Demographic Land Use Plan, to amend the use of certain areas so they can be used for densification purposes and the development of new housing. The Demographic Land Use Plan introduces a new type of land use area allowing a mixed use of economic activities and housing. As this mixed land use will be applied to the entire right bank of the Biestebroeck dock, the Masterplan will be considered as a tool to check the relevance of the new land use and to guarantee the consistency of the surrounding neighbourhood.


thematic workshops and site visit


Masterplan Biestebroeck

A masterplan including development scenarios



The masterplan consists of six project lines aiming the transformation of the neighbourhood. Thanks to the strategic situation of the Biestebroek dock within the Brussels’ Region, the masterplan will not only reinforce the image of the city of Anderlecht but also the image of the entire canal area. Each project corresponds to a given issue with specific features, and is subdivided in strategic program options and individual guidelines with regard to the constructed environment and the public domain. The specificity of each individual project does not prevent the mutual impact between the projects, which results in a positive synergy that will be reflected in the development of the neighbourhood. There are several scenarios available for the right bank. They take into account the contamination of the area; the short term opportunity to delocate the harmful industry; the opportunity to reuse part of this neighbourhood as a mixed-use housing/working area according to the Demographic Land Use Plan.

project 1

PROJECT 1: THE CANAL AS A PLACE WHERE ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES AND HOUSING ARE COMBINED The projected approach will be multifunctional: the canal maintains its role as waterway but the area will also become a location for housing and additional equipment and infrastructure. As harbour activities are not compliant with housing, BUUR proposes to exploit the presence of a left and right bank: the former will be used for densification purposes and housing; the latter for harbour related and other economic activities. PROJECT 2: THE ‘CHAUSSE DE MONS’ AS THE BACKBONE OF THE NEIGHBOURHOODS LOCATED ALONG THE CANAL

project 2

The proximity of the canal will be visualized up to the ‘Bergensesteenweg’ by creating visual and physical connections between the road and the canal. The intensified relationship with the waterway and the downgrading of the ‘Chaussée de Mons’ to a road used for destination traffic only, will allow the creation of a central public space with high standard housing, that will connect the different neighbourhoods on both sides of the canal. PROJECT 3: THE ‘RUE WAYEZ’ AS COMMERCIAL CLUSTER WITH AN IMPACT THAT GOES BEYOND THE LEFT BANK A new commercial cluster will be developed on the bridge of Curegem. It will provide a new impulse to a less dynamic part of the ‘rue Wayez’ and create an


project 3

optimized functional and spatial relationship with the right bank. A cluster of retail commerces and additional shops located outside the ‘rue Wayez’, will be completed by restaurants and pubs and a small movie theatre complex, in order to meet the requirements of this part of the Brussels’ Region and exploit its excellent accessibility as well as its location along the waterway converting the neighbourhood into a place with a unique view that invites to wander along the canal. PROJECT 4: THE CONFIRMATION OF THE BRIDGE OF CUREGEM AS INTERMODAL JUNCTION The masterplan integrates the wish of the Brussels’ authorities to open at the bridge of Curegem a RER station that will be connected to a highly densified constructed environment. A high level of vertical densification, including housing and offices (if needed), will convert the RER station into an urban development cluster that will connect the local bridge and the canal located between the neighbourhoods to the regional network of public transport.

project 4

PROJECT 5: THE INDUSTRIELAAN AS ECONOMIC GATE TO THE CITY Thanks to its excellent accessibility from the ring road and the availability of big parcels, the part of the ‘Industrielaan’ located near the ‘Batelagekaai’ will be confirmed in its use as an area for economic urban activities. Situated at a short distance from the canal, the area allows the construction of the Urban Distribution Center as projected by the Region. This center will allow the sustainable transportation of goods between the waterway and the road. The proposition for change of the Regional Land Use Plan aiming the exploitation of the right bank as a mixed-use area for business activities and housing development will be used to assess the financial feasibility of the purification of contaminated soils. The quay of the Biestebroekdok itself can be purified and developed with integrated urban harbour activities. The economic activities and the housing development will be separated as much of possible.

project 5

PROJECT 6: THE VALLEY OF THE OLD TRAJECTORY OF THE SENNE RIVER AS GREEN AND RECREATIVE NETWORK The topographic and landscape fragments will be reconnected through landscape design and this for both existing and new axis. Housing developments and exteriors of business buildings will be created according to certain requirements with regard to greenery and water permeability.

project 6


Masterplan Biestebroeck

FOCUS 1 – THE PLACE OF THE HARBOUR WITHIN THE CITY Recent discussions about the canal area have shown the importance of making right choices with regard to the separation and the relationship between the harbour activities and the urban mixed-use developments. The masterplan focuses on a functional separation of both banks of the Biestebroeck dock. Realistic scenarios for soil purification and the extinction of SEVESO activities on the right bank will allow the development of urban harbour activities, with possibilities to transfer goods between boat and truck via the ‘rue Dante’. In this way, the harbour activities on the left bank can be relocated on the right bank. FOCUS 2 – A WATERFRONT ON THE LEFT BANK The relocation of the current harbour activities to the right bank, will allow the creation of a waterfront on the left bank, including about 300 houses, restaurants and pubs, public equipment and space for shops, workshops and small offices. The wideness of the Biestebroeck Dock will allow the creation of a recreative or residential marina with a public, wide wharf for pedestrians and cyclists, converting the canal into a new central public space. The economic and social return of this development will be higher assessed than the return generated by the current activities. From a social point of view, the development will give breathing space to the highly densified neighbourhoods on the left bank and create cycling and hiking paths and space for neighbourhood equipment and new public spaces. From an economic point of view, the development will have a positive effect on the employment by creating pubs and restaurants, shops, SMC and workshops. FOCUS 3 – THE DEVELOPMENT AT KUREGEM BRIDGE Through the high densification level and the concentration on a restricted surface, the development will lead to a new critical mass of new residents and users. The head of the Biestebroeck Dock will become the new central place along the canal; it will be easily accessible and clearly visible from the other neighbourhoods. The canal will no longer be considered as a ceasure between two banks, but as a central space attracting special and public functions such as a RER station, a movie theatre, restaurants and pubs, over more than 400 houses and an underground public car park. The cluster of high-rise buildings fits the multi-storey buildings that already exist or are under construction and give shape to the typical skyline of the Brussels’ canal.


focus 1 - port activities in an urban context on the right bank

focus 2 - waterfront left bank

focus 3 - head of the Biestebroek dock


Masterplan Biestebroeck


view of the left bank

view of the new developments at the head of the dock

impression of densities and urban activities along the canal



BEG Expertise GewOP | Brussel

By drawing up a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (RPSD), the Brussels-Capital Region wants to create a new frame for the future of the metropolitan region of Brussels. The plan aims a vision for the year 2020 that determines strategies to meet the following five challenges: population growth; education, training and employment; sustainable development; urban duality as a result of poverty; internationalization. It is the very first time that a consistent vision will be developed for the entire metropolitan region of Brussels. As part of the Project team BXL 10-20-40, BUUR has been asked to provide permanent assistance to the public administration’s steering group responsible for the RPSD. The project team consists of several experts with complementary expertise in strategic planning, mobility, economics, sustainability and environment. In addition, all the team members have an in-depth knowledge of the political and social economic aspects of Brussels. The expert assignment carried out by the project team focuses on the concrete formulation of a city project, supported by the authorities and based on prior steps of inventory, workshops with key players and vision design. The Project Team BXL 10-20-40 is involved by providing four types of support: completion of the diagnostics drawn up by the Brussels administration and research institutes; organization of workshops during the studies revolving around the vision concept “Brussel 2040” proposed by three international planning teams; consolidation of the workable urban concepts resulting from the three “Brussel 2040” visions and translation of these concepts into a global project; participation in the layout of the RPSD project and writing parts of the project text The assignment also includes an integrated and thematic vision with regard to the Brussels’ REN zone. The project team is also responsible for the writing of the vision texts and the creation of the maps and graphics. At the beginning of 2013, the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region will adopt the plan after a first lecture, followed by a public inquiry.



Expertise GewOP | Brussel

The expert assignment has led to a certain number of concrete conclusions An integrated vision with development and mobility




By listing the densification projects that are in progress or likely to be realized, it is possible to estimate the capability of Brussels to absorb the expected population growth. This seems to be a goal that can hardly be achieved between now and 2020. All the more reason to sensitize the other regions to impose minimum densities of public transport junctions, and to further develop the network of public transport for the purpose of sustainable accessibility which will be for the benefit of the entire metropolitan region. At the same time, Brussels has to develop a coordinated policy in terms of urban development on public transport junctions

zones for potential densification

A new map and hierarchy of public transport junctions has been realized on the basis of existing and future train, subway and tram lines. Hyper accessible junctions will be developed as clusters of urban density. Elaboration of thematic visions on the scale of the REN zone and Brussels To obtain a realistic vision of the urban development, a certain number of necessary urban programs have been updated, quantified and located within the public space: offices; research and universities; trade; leisure and culture. Each individual program has received a vision on both metropolitan and urban scale. Writing of vision texts for the urban project of the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development The diagnosis, the vision, the concrete goals and action points for the thematic urban programs have been written down in vision texts. Creation of maps and graphics for the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development Seven maps at the scale of the Brussels-Capital Region and four maps at the scale of the metropolitan region have been created on the basis of the urban project.


scheme city vision - logistic metropolitan system

scheme city vision - tertiary and quaternary clusters

strategic open spaces



BHN High-rise Study | Brussels

In view of the expected demographic boom in the Brussels Capital Regional, high-rise buildings have once again gained in importance. But despite this renewed popularity, there is no spatial vision whatsoever with regard to it. BUUR has been assigned to carry out a study about the location and integration of high-rise . The assessment aims the elaboration of a vision in which multi-storey blocks are not only used as a densification tool but also as a valuation and optimization tool of town planning. A certain number of objectives have been defined on the basis of the specific features of the Brussels’ urban fabric. They concern the three following domains: landscape, urban morphology and urban programming. The first domain analyzes how highrise buildings are able to enhance the readability of the topography; the second domain analyzes how the highrise buildings are able to clarify the urban structure and transform certain fabrics; the third domain considers how high-rise buildings can be used to distinguish collective from symbolic functions. On the basis of these objectives, the study first of all determines the basic localisation and integration criteria that every high-rise project in Brussels has to meet, according to the landscape and program context and the existing fabrics. Next, these criteria will be used to elaborate a vision for the Brussels’ skyline. The analysis of this skyline has pointed out two types of high-rise buildings. The assessment wants to emphasize the specific aspects of each type. On the one hand, it indicates the areas that could potentially be taken into consideration for the construction of high-rise with « regional dimension »; their localization meets a structuring spatial vision, which is partly determined by the views and metropolitan perspectives. On the other hand, it wants to add a “local dimension” to the development of high-rise projects by elaborating a quality matrix allowing to evaluate the localization and integration relevance of this kind of projects. This matrix can be used by both authorities and developpers. Finally, the study describes how the principles can be translated within the relevant local planning regulations.






High-rise Study | Brussels


valorisation of the landscape










valorisation of the urban morphologie






valorisation of collectif urban functions







map with metropolitan views and panoramas te create and protect

simulation of all singular, uncoordinated projects in the area of the Midi station



FLO Floriade 2012 | Venlo - NL

The ‘Floriade’ is a landscape and horticultural expo organized every 10 years in another Dutch city. The 2012 edition was hosted by the city of Venlo on a site totalling 66 ha where the national pavilions were located as well as other expositions revolving around themes such as nature education, ecologic innovation, economy and horticulture… BUUR, in association with the architecture firm Goedefroo+Goedefroo, designed the Belgian pavilion and garden. The Belgian Floriade garden was designed as the spatial symbiosis of a pavilion and a garden. The traditional relationship between both elements, between the interior and the exterior, is reminded through the design. The pavilion consists of two raised roof panes that become garden. Thanks to this difference in height, the garden seems to float in the surrounding landscape and to melt into it. The wood of oaks that bords on the garden functions as a powerful setting that frames the garden. A green walkway connects and unites the pavilion and the garden and leads through a wide, stylized group of vegetation to an intimate and protected square. The walkway and the square are two elements evoking each a different type of experience: on the one hand a rising and winding walkway that suggests surprise and exploration and on the other hand a large square under the roof panes providing shelter and peace and quiet, situated near to a stretched greenhouse. The difference in height adds an additional dimension to the walk. The vegetation of the garden is a spatial composition that emphasises the winding shape of the walkway. It defines the space and divides it in successive waves of dynamic movements. The parallel curves suggest an adventurous park experience on a walkway that stretches out on a path that is 200 meters long. At the same time, the vegetation tempers the spatial division by an overlapping of vegetation offering contrasting heights, shapes and colours of leaves and flowers.



Floriade 2012 | Venlo - NL

Interesting walkway The wanderer visiting the Belgian Floriade garden will be overwhelmed by dynamic vegetation. The garden is defined in a very subtle way by a continuous and uniform laying out, consisting of multi stem trees (evergreen oaks and white birches), grasses (Molinia caerulea ‘Heidebraut’, Carex testacea ‘Prairie Fire’ and Stipa tenuissima) and blueberries. The multi stem trees emphasise the effect of depth in the garden and create changing sides, see-throughs and backgrounds that can be seen from the lounge terrace on the shelter roof. The experience is intensified by the addition of recurring, rhythmical and evergreen spots (Buxus ‘Rococo’, Buddleja ARGUS White and Buddleja ARGUS Velvet, Ceanothus ‘A.T. Johnson’, Ilex crenata ‘Convexa’, Osmanthus burkwoodii, Pleioblastus distichus and Vinca minor) completed with botanic roses in full bloom. Rosebushes are widely spread along the edge of the wood. They create a contrast that defines the identity of the garden. The diversified walk along the walkway is considered as the prolongation of the pavilion rather than a raised garden. Indeed, this Floriade garden interacts directly with the surrounding Floriade park.




IME IMEC site | Leuven

IMEC is a world-leading research and development center in nano-technology, whose headquarters are located at the ‘Koning Boudewijnlaan’. In the short time, IMEC needs new office space for 400 people, new labs and an extension of its Clean Room. The layout plan designed by BUUR foresees a concentration of the program in the residual space between the existing clean room and the crossing of the ‘Koning Boudewijnlaan-Celestijnenlaan’. By densifying this part of the site, the plan achieves a double goal: the natural reserve area with high ecological value and interest situated in the southeastern part of the land plot will be protected, and IMEC will be provided with a representative image along the main access road to Louvain. The layout plan foresees the construction of an 18-storey high tower that will also function as a landmark along the ‘Koning Boudewijnlaan’. In this way, the tower will not only codetermine the image of IMEC but also function as a ‘gate’ to the city and as a guidepost indicating the cluster IMEC, Research Park Arenberg and Campus Arenberg. The plan also foresees the re-designing of the crossing and the re-profiling of the ‘Celestijnenlaan’. It will create additional space for the extension of the Clean Room and the layout of a new esplanade. The former backside of the site will be transformed into a new, representative entrance. Considering the important impact of the ‘IMEC Tower’, a restricted international competition for architect firms has been organized to select the architectural design. BUUR has set up the methodology and the content of this competition and handled all the practical issues. The competition was eventually won by BaumschlagerEberle Architects.



IMEC site | Leuven

The site The IMEC site is located west of the city centre of Louvain, at the corner of the ‘Koning Boudewijnlaan’ (the main access road to the city center coming from the highway) and the ‘Celestijnenlaan’ (access road to the ‘Exact and Applied Sciences’ university campus). It is situated near the new sciences park ‘Arenberg’ and forms part of the ‘Dijlevallei’, a valley with high ecological and landscape value. The design plan BUUR wants to associate IMEC’s demand for more working space and additional program to a higher company representativity integrated within a sustainable design and an improved traffic organization. The design plan projects the location of an office tower at the corner of the ‘Koning Boudewijnlaan’ and the ‘Celestijnenlaan’. The tower allows the realize the projected program on a limited surface area. In this way, the green space with high ecological value situated at another part of the site will be momentarily protected against the construction of new additional buildings. At the same time, the tower will function as a landmark along the ‘Boudewijnlaan’ and offer the IMEC site a representative image. The part of the site that is currently perceived as the back side of the domain, will become in the future the front side. The design plan also projects the redesign of the nearby road crossing. By connecting the ‘Celestijnenlaan’ perpendicular to the ‘Boudewijnlaan’, the project plan achieves a twofold goal: the crossing and the street will become much safer, and the visual impact of the IMEC site will be increased. By making this space available for construction, IMEC will be able to extend its premises and create in the future an esplanade in front of the tower.


The design plan stipulates the urban guidelines for the extension of the site. These guidelines are tested and visualized in a project plan that will be used as a reference for the later development. The plan has been validated by the regional and local authorities.

The competition By its location, the IMEC Tower will become an important landmark that will codetermine the company’s identity. The next decades, the tower must be able to captivate its users and visitors as well as the people passing by without becoming ordinary or out-of-date. Facing this considerable challenge, IMEC has decided to organize a closed, international competition with two qualification rounds to assign an architect. BUUR has developed the methodology and the content of this competition and organized all the practical details. An advisory committee consisting of external, international jury members has been set up to judge the competition projects. Sixteen teams have been selected from a long list drawn up by BUUR and have been invited to participate in the competition. In the second round, the committee has selected four teams who received payment to design a pre-project for the IMEC Tower. Eventually, it was the project of ‘Baumschlager-Eberle Architects’ that won the ‘IMEC Tower’ competition. Their project presents a strong link with the context, and visualizes in a simple but convincing way the projected ambitions for both the site and the building.

360 architecten


B&E architects (laureaat)

JDS architects



JKB Koning Boudewijnpark | Jette

BUUR has been selected by the BIM (Brussels Institute for Environmental management) to design and lay out the central part of the ‘Koning Boudewijnpark’ in Jette. The identity of this linear park is mainly determined by the valley of the ‘Molenbeek’. The space is intensively used, due to the fact that a large part of the project area directly bords on the adjacent neighbourhood. The design will align the different space claims in a very thoughtful way in order to create an animated park with major focus on the nature. The park is cut through and through by the ‘Toussainstraat’, which requires a certain number of measures: the road will be integrated in the park in such a way that the traffic will no longer dominate the park but become a guest of it. The central entrance of the ‘Boudewijnpark’ will be transformed into a vital part of the park and will be maximally opened up to the neighbourhood. A fluid network of paths will lead the hikers and the cyclists through the park. The design also aims to give a new dynamic impulse to the play garden. This exiting area for small children will be turned into a green spot in which the brook will be integrated. In the eastern part of the park, the ‘Molenbeek’ will be opened again and brought back to the surface. By exploiting the difference between the soft and hard banks, the brook will become an integral part of the park and will invite the user to approach the water. For this assignment, BUUR is working in close cooperation with Dees & Lepage who will develop a certain number of temporary installations that will be used during the participation process. In the short term, these installations will be set up in the park to present the park design to the people living in the neighbourhood.



Koning Boudewijnpark | Jette

6 6

4 1

2 3


plan met aanduiding strategische deelprojecten

impressie tijdelijke installaties


1. Speeltuin: avontuur en pret voor de allerkleinste

2. Centrale ruimte: ontspannen, actief zijn, ontmoeten.... van jong tot oud

3. Snelle en trage route: aangename wandelpaden, snelle fietsroute

4. Oeverzone: water als identiteitsdrager

5. Uitnodigende parktoegang: baeckdriehoek als hoofdtoegang park

6. Bijzondere plekken

sfeer strategische deelprojecten

snede parktoegang en centrale ruimte



TTB Tour&Taxis | Brussels BE

Project T&T nv, daughter company of developers Robelco and Extensa, has put BUUR in charge for the design of a masterplan for the strategic and sensible site of Tour&Taxis in Brussels. The assignment also includes a mobility study, the accompanying of the city of Brussels in the developing of a special development plan and the preparation of the external communication. The 35 hectare Tour&Taxis site, close to the historic centre, is the most important remaining development location in Brussels. Next to the other big-scale strategic areas in Brussels (Josaphat, Delta, Schaerbeek, the Heizel,…) Tour&Taxis is the only site of similar size that can offer the combination of a unique location at the water, containing valuable industrial heritage and located at close distance to the historical center of Brussels. The redevelopment of Tour&Taxis has to integrate an important metropolitan program (area for specific bigscale functions like Alain Hubert, Musée d’Europe,…, offices, urban housing, commercial functions,…) This ambitious program will have important implications, both within the site and on its direct surroundings (organization, traffic layout, city landscape,…) BUUR’s plan valorizes the most notable characteristics of the site: the project will be a catalyst for the urban development along the canal in the north of Brussels, include reconversion of historical heritage (entrepot, gare maritime), a connection to the surrounding residential neighborhoods of Molenbeek, an intensification of the relation with the North neighborhood and the partial preservation of the open space on the site. In total, around 500.000 m² of a new programs will be realized: a mix of dwellings, offices, diverse urban functions (expo, businesses, catering industry, recreation, municipal facilities, …).



Tour&Taxis | Brussels



Tour&Taxis | Brussels



Tour&Taxis | Brussels




VRT VRT/RTBF site | Brussel

BUUR (in cooperation with STRATEC) has been assigned by the Brussels-Capital Region to draw up a Masterplan for the Site of regional importance nr 12 RTBF/VRT. This area located between the ‘Reyerslaan’, the ‘Leuvensesteenweg’ and the E40 totalizes 175 ha. It concerns a strategic intervention area where the Brussels-Capital Region wants to concentrate the resources of all the regional strategies in order to create a lever for the metropolitan development of Brussels. The masterplan defines the strategic options for the development of the area. This plan is a tool that will be used to gather in the short and medium term all the players that are involved in the future of the neighbourhood around one common development vision. To bring the neighbourhood out of its isolation, increase its visibility and improve the connections to its immediate surroundings, the masterplan foresees strategic interventions to achieve a twofold purpose: a better balance between the different activities of the neighbourhood and a better integration in the urban context of Brussels. The E40 will be transformed into an urban boulevard. The quality of the neighbourhoods in the immediate surroundings as well as the landscape experience when driving into the Brussels-Capital Region will be substantially improved, without reducing the continuity of the traffic. This improvement opens horizons to convert the ‘Kolonel Bourgstraat’ into a sustainable residential area. Two third of the private green space owned by the VRT and RTBF will be transformed into a public park. This green spot will be the powerful force behind the transformation of the neighbourhood, will increase the quality of life in the entire district and valorize the adjacent properties. Along the ‘Leuvensesteenweg’, the masterplan foresees an integrated housing and commerce typology to eliminate the existing urban break and re-establish the strong identity of this axis so it can finally play its role as center and regional commercial axis. The street will get a new profile to solve the conflictual traffic situation between the cars on the one hand and the busses on the other hand.



VRT/RTBF site | Brussel

Feasibility and phasing As the Masterplan focusses on the mid and long term, it has been split up in several phases. It defines successive short term projects in order to achieve the long term goals. This method also allows to align the goals per phase in accordance to the available financial resources. Although the studies executed to support this Masterplan are only preparatory, they will indicate the economic feasibility of the chosen options and emphasize the importance of the private players who will most likely agree with the urban transformation process.

project 1

Strategy The Masterplan of the Site of regional importance nr. 12 includes five Major Projects that will transform the neighbourhood and strengthen the economy and image of the Brussels-Capital Region. Each project corresponds to a specific set of issues and will be split up in strategic interventions and guidelines. The fact that the projects are relatively independent from each other, does not prevent them from having a major mutual impact, which creates a positive synergy that will be reflected in the development of the neighbourhood. The Major Projects are divided in different levels of detail. Indeed, every Major Project includes an interpretative and/or technical analysis focusing on the project in question; a certain number of urbanistic recommendations which often integrate different scenarios or alternatives of a chosen scenario and a justification of the option; an extensive action plan that defines the steps that must be taken and assigns the most appropriate authority to execute them.

project 2

project 3

project 4

project 5



VRT/RTBF site | Brussel

Five Major Projects Major Project 1: Economic cluster ‘Reyers’ The first project aims the creation of a sustainable regional economic cluster in the surroundings of the ‘Reyerslaan’. This cluster will be well connected to the public transport. Within a consistent whole, a substantial surface area of new offices will be added to the different office buildings that currently surround the VRT-RTBF media cluster; these offices will replace the office buildings along the E40 (‘Kolonel Bourgstraat’). Besides these new offices, a new area covering 45.000 m² of housing and equipment will be created to increase the mixed character of the neighbourhood and reinforce the relationship with the neighbourhood and surrounding urban fabric. Major Project 2: The Brussels’ park way The E40 will be transformed into an urban boulevard. The quality of the neighbourhoods in the immediate surroundings as well as the landscape experience when driving into the Brussels-Capital Region will be substantially improved, without reducing the continuity of the traffic. The section of the E40 will be adapted to the current and future requirements. Only 50% of it will be reserved for car traffic. This measure will result into a reduction of the car speed, noise and pollution, but without reducing the current capacity. The compensated space can be used for two purposes: to enhance the green character of the entrance to the city; and/or to create a separate lane for the REN buses and integrate the interregional cycling path. This improvement will also allow to transformation of the ‘Kolonel Bourgstraat’ into a sustainable residential area covering more than 200.000 m² of a mixed urban program that will replace the current under-exploited office buildings. Major Project 3: The ‘Leuvensesteenweg’ will be reaf f irmed in its identit y The third project plans the entirely new laying out of the ‘Leuvensesteenweg’ that should solve the congestion problems; meet the requirements of the cyclists; guarantee the fluid passage of the busses; and fit the needs in terms of greenery. Besides solving user problems, the project mainly wants to recreate a strong identity for the ‘Leuvensesteenweg’. Major Project 4: the Edith Cavell park and the transformation of the neighbourhood


The fourth project consists in the creation of a public park on the current green spaces of the VRT-RTBF. The purpose of this project is to enhance the quality of life and to turn the neighbourhood into a pleasant place for the people who live and work in the district. Walking and cycling will thus be encouraged. In addition to the construction potential recommended in MP1, the MP4 plans the construction of 78.000 m² of a mixed urban program on the constructible land plots of the VRTRTBF (more in specific on the remaining part of the park area). Major Project 5: ‘Marcel Thir y’ as equipment and recreation cluster The fifth project aims the transformation of the so called ‘Marcel Thiry’ zone into an equipment and recreation cluster. The project shows the conversion potential of some of the existing office buildings, houses and school buildings and provides a new function to the current land plots of the ‘BIM’ and the ‘Plejaden’. The project also includes a proposition to move the depot of the public transport company ‘De Lijn’ from its current location in the ‘Padua’ neighbourhood to the ‘Hof ten Berglaan’ (at the side bording on Zaventem). The execution of this recommendation will optimize the functioning of ‘De Lijn’ by creating a direct connection to the ‘Leuvensesteenweg’ via a specific bus lane and an exit at the ‘Hof ten Berglaan’ in the direction of the city.


Pfo 2014 06 en  
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