Canal Plan gives a boost to Brussels architecture


Two original and innovative Belgian building projects beside the Brussels Canal recently won first prize in Marseilles at the three-yearly competition for sustainable architecture in Europe.

A jury of independent academics selected 437 European projects. Seven potential projects remained after a second round of research. The two Brussels projects shared the golden medal: better integration of the Inter-Beton concrete plant opposite Tour and Taxis on the one hand, and the construction of a new garage for rubbish trucks from Net Brussel in Neder-Over-Heembeek on the other. Both aim to achieve the optimum alignment of industrial and residential or office function, with an additional focus on greenery. More homes to cater for the growth in population, but also consolidating industrial use of the canal zone. The fundamental idea is that activities such as concrete production or waste collection - and the jobs associated with such activities - certainly have a role to play in the city. It all boils down to making such activities more visible, limiting the nuisance and benefiting the city wherever possible.

The award-winning projects are still to be carried out, however, if they are successful in their mission and are able to convince more people of this new approach, they can help to set Brussels in the right direction towards an important cultural transition in terms of urban planning and architecture. Then our capital might even become the reference in this area.