Media Building, Brussels, Belgium

Clad in profiled ceramic panels and anodized aluminium frames, this park building is embedded in the variable topography of its site, with each side responding to a different context.  Whereas the long facade addresses the longitude of the park and the frontality of the ‘Erepark der Gefusilleerden’, a military cemetery for both World Wars, the northern volume anchors the building in the urban fabric.
Divided into a ‘head’ and ‘body’, the volumetric appearance of a tower with a slender horizontal volume emphasises the emptiness between the central event square and the garden theatre. From here a multifunctional pedestrian passage emerges. As a covered space, this passage – call it ‘a square’ – can accommodate a book market, a philharmonic concert, a set for a television show, or simply be a welcome shelter from the rain. The square’s 'emptiness' allows at the same time a wealth of spatial interpretations and connections.
 ‘Head’ and ‘body’ are almost symbolically connected through one continuous storey, housing the newsroom. At the south side of the building, stacked galleries form an open, non-acclimatized space alternated with open balconies that serve as informal workspaces. These garden rooms - with art integration by Philippe Van Snick - invite employees to work in a different way. The formal workspaces are situated in one continuous volume throughout the upper floors, with alternating double-height ceilings, allowing natural daylight to infiltrate deep into the building. The different television and radio studios are positioned according to their function and use. Some are on the level of the logistic flows. Others are connected to the park and the public lobby or situated in the immediate vicinity of the newsroom. The ground floors of 'head' and 'body' also contain public functions: the bistro, the foyer and the lobby. This urban plinth is intended for all users and flows of visitors and forms the basis for the design of this media building. Through this open character, the project creates a new lively city district. The project was discontinued in 2019.
Architects
Robbrecht en Daem architecten, Dierendonckblancke architecten
Program
Media building
Location
Brussels, Belgium
Date
2015–2019
Status
Design
Floor Surface
75 000 m2
Team
Johannes Robbrecht, Paul Robbrecht, Hilde Daem, Wim Voorspoels, Tine Bulckaen, Barbara Deceuninck, Corné Schep, Layla Lavens, Pierre de Brun, Simon Ceuterick, Lennart Vandewaetere, Jürgen Vandewalle, Bert Schellekens, Georges Debelder, Margarida Esteves, Duarte Miranda, Sofie Weytjens, Matthias Decleer, Robrecht Debaillie, Nathan Van den Bossche, Mieke Van der Linden
Execution Architect
Bureau Bouwtechniek NV
Interior Architect
Muller Van Severen, Robbrecht en Daem architecten, Dierendonckblancke architecten
Structural Engineering
VK Engineering, Arup
Services Engineering
VK Engineering, Arup
Acoustics
Arup, VK Engineering
Landscape
Bureau Bas Smets
Facade Engineering
VK Engineering, Arup
Fire Engineering
VK Engineering
Security
Arup
Lighting
Arup