gets the green light from Brussels
A green light has been given to the long-awaited redevelopment project, The Dome, on the corner of Beursplein and Anspachlaan. The Dome, as it was christened by the developer team at VDD Project Development and Vervoordt r.e., is a multifunctional building with 21,000 m2 of retail, restaurant, office and residential space. The design stands out for its architectural allure and respect for the story behind the building and its surrounding environment. The project is also typified by the building's integration in the surrounding public space and by the variety of urban functions that it houses. The renovation of this iconic building in the heart of the city represents a milestone in the revitalisation of Brussels city centre.
The decision to redevelop the central avenues and return them to the people is one of the best that we have made in Brussels in the last few decades. And now we are seeing its effects in the broader environment. Numerous buildings are undergoing a full renovation and this is bringing a new dynamic to the city centre, judging by the Beursgebouw, the Multitoren, le Grand Café and now The Dome. We are restoring the grandeur of the central avenues of old.
The Dome, which refers to the impressive copper dome overlooking the Beursplein, was named ‘Les Grands Magasins de la Bourse’ during its construction in 1870s and was home to Belgium's first department store. In 1948 the building suffered extensive fire damage, and in 1970 it was converted to a shopping and office building and renamed the ‘Bourse Center’. The firm Actiris had its offices in the building until a few years ago.
The Brussels Region sold the property in 2018 with a view to restoring the soul of the building and giving it multiple functions. MSI, the Brusselse Maatschappij voor Stedelijke Inrichting, launched a call and set the conditions to be satisfied by any future development of the building. Sixteen developers threw their hats into the ring. After a selection procedure involving urban.brussels, the Brussels Government Architect, the City of Brussels and MSI, a revalorisation project proposed by VDD Project Development and Vervoordt r.e. was selected on the basis of its strong vision for the high-quality and sustainable future of the building.
VDD Project Development and Vervoordt r.e. are embarking on the project with renowned architectural studio Coussée Goris Huyghe, which is known for projects such as the ‘De Krook’ city library in Ghent, the ‘Het Zwin’ visitor centre in Knokke-Heist and the warehouses on the ‘Kanaal’ site in Wijnegem. Through the project the team is reinterpreting the Haussmannian architecture so typical of the Central Avenues and restoring the building's strong architectural identity. The vertical elements of the façade are accentuated, the mansard roof is replaced by sleek dormer windows, balconies are introduced under the eaves, the canopy is given a bold design and elements of historical value, such as the dome, are repainted.
The Dome project continues the revalorisation of the historical city centre by introducing a high-quality, attractive architecture and programme that will determine the perception of the entire environment. The building is to get a new future, in which the historical grandeur is restored and the Haussmannian architecture is reinterpreted in a contemporary manner. This contrast will give the premises a contemporary identity and even further reinforce the iconic tower and dome's standing as a beacon in the cityscape. And so a new page will be written in the history or this emblematic location in Brussels, which is set to become a meeting place for all.
A commercial base with an international character
The base of the building will open to the maximum and interact with the surrounding public space, inspired by the original function of ‘Les Grands Magasins de la Bourse’. In effect, the city will be drawn into the building
The Italian business EATALY makes its long-awaited entrance to the Belgian market. The concept extends across the ground floor on the corner of Beursplein, Anspachlaan and P. Devauxstraat, as well as the entire first floor, covering 3,500 m2 in total. In this culinary mecca, lovers of Italian cuisine can take full advantage of the food-court concept and its restaurants and cafés, as well as an Italian fresh-food and supermarket and a training centre. For this development, Johan Vandendriessche, managing partner of VDD Project Development, went into an exclusive joint venture with EATALY. Explosive expansion has taken the chain to world cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Sao Paolo, Seoul, Munich, Stockholm, Paris, London, … and now Brussels.
Delhaize will set up on the corner of Anspachlaan and Kiekenmarkt, with a new urban concept on the ground floor and a classic supermarket in the basement, covering a total of 2,200 m2.
Working and living in the city of tomorrow
On the second, third and fourth floors, 7,500 m2 of state-of-the-art offices will be linked by an impressive glass atrium in the heart of the building and a roof garden.
On the fifth to eighth floors there will be 55 apartments, between 38 m2 and 105 m2. These are smart, compact apartments with an attractive level of amenities and a variety of shared spaces such as relaxation areas, roof terraces and gardens. Through this, in view of the rising property prices and changing demographics, the team is responding to the ever growing demand for affordable, sustainable and efficient housing.
The Dome is also a flagship project in the areas of sustainability and ecology. Besides circular construction, a variety of modern and sustainable techniques has been chosen such as solar panels, heat pumps and maximum heat and cooling recuperation to keep consumption to an absolute minimum. Finally, where mobility is concerned, the choice has been made for soft traffic, through 144 parking spaces for (cargo) bikes and just 5 spaces for shared electrical vehicles. The project is aiming for a BREEAM Excellent certificate and is fully compliant with the Brussels Region’s ambitions for high-quality, multifunctional and future oriented buildings.
Activities commence in the first quarter of 2023 and are expected to continue for 2 to 3 years.
The Dome is a new economic project in the pedestrian zone in Brussels. As already shown by several other redevelopments, the city centre is evolving rapidly and investors are endorsing our urban policy in growing numbers. The city is aiming for constructive partnership in this ambitious project.