Brussels Architecture Today

Bozar
Rue Ravenstein 23 — Bruxelles
1928, 2015, 2016
Architecture: Victor Horta - Barbara Van Der Wee + Sum - Robbrecht & Daem

Frederico
Pedrini

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Brussels is a strange place: ordinary, messy and a bit neglected. Yet one quickly notices that the clutter hides a treasure of emblematic buildings, spread over the otherwise unremarkable city fabric. Amongst these there are some powerful urban devices like the recently renovated BOZAR. Although a monument, yet it is one of the most contemporary buildings in Brussels. The interior is embedded in the urban fabric and it virtually merges the maze of roads and passages climbing up from Brussels downtown. Astonishingly its program versatility is the beaux-arts prototype of the Fun Palace: it can hosts concerts, exhibitions, lectures, films, debates, festivals, events and more. Once it even had a pool outside. Today it allows architects to intervene, add and tamper it without affecting its core qualities. It is a public place appropriating urban space and time in a very light and natural way. In a way it is a very unique cultural device, a wonderbox that should be celebrated more.

Comment percevez vous le contexte architectural à Bruxelles aujourd’hui?

Chaotic. One of the most interesting architectural scene in Europe today, the city architecture doesn't keep up with its own architects. Architecture is a slow profession, and so maybe it will take years before seeing the results of today transformations. But somehow it feels like there is a defying inertia in the city and in its own capacity to embrace the moment. Brussels is a live experiment, a bit cadavre exquis (still trap between dada and surrealism), a bit laboratory. The contradictions are at once what makes it so interesting and also so irritating. It remains one of the most stimulating urban environment in Europe, far more than most other western European capitals, which all somehow acquired a status of completion. Brussels is unfinished and contrasted, sometime violently, and this makes it very unique and fertile: we should find ways to keep this spirit while also allowing improvements.

Présentez vous en quelques lignes.

I am an architect and urban designer with an international experience. I divide my time between collaborations and personal projects mostly developed together with architects and artists. I followed and lead a variety of projects and researches. I tend to focus more on concepts. My design interest covers the spectrum of disciplines going from architecture to urbanism developing projects at all scales, from large territorial visions to the design of masterplan and buildings.

À propos

Les interviews ont été collectés suite à un appel lancé au mois de septembre 2019. Plus de 60 personnes y ont participé. Un jury a été organisé pour évaluer les réponses et sélectionner les meilleures qui seront publiées ici, par groupe de 10 interviews tous les 15 jours. Le jury a réuni le 2 octobre les personnes suivantes: Guy Condé Reis (Urban.brussels), Lisa De Visscher (A+), Pablo Lhoas (ULB-La Cambre), Sophie Gérard (BMA), Audrey Moulu (BMA), Guillaume Sokal (SLRB) et Nicolas Hemeleers (CityTools).

Le projet n’est cependant pas terminé! Une deuxième phase démarre: nous invitons dès à présent toute personne intéressée à répondre également au formulaire. L’appel se mue en contribution continue dans les semaines et mois qui viennent. Un deuxième jury pourra être organisé. Le formulaire est encore en ligne. Remplissez-le!

Projet coordonné par une équipe de curatelle pluridisciplinaire composée de CityTools (urbanisme), Spec uloos (graphisme), Variable (site web) et Thomas Ost (photographie).