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Covent Garden Brussels
Contemporary Belgian Shopping Center – design by Art & Building
17 Sep 2008
Covent Garden Shopping Center
Retail centre formerly titled Royal Rogier
Art & Build Architect
Belgian Shopping Center
Covent Garden will be a new real estate complex at the heart of Brussels, on the edge of the Botanic Park: 70,000m² above-ground primarily devoted to offices, and equipped with parking for 350 cars on three levels of basement. The ground floor of the complex will be partially allocated to shops and to collective activities.
The project is composed of two units: a low 9-floor building, and 26-floor tower building. The two buildings will be connected by a huge garden, itself covered by a glass canopy of 1,300m² installed ten metres above the ground.
The complex, in the course of construction, will be delivered at the end of 2006.
In Terms Of The City
The Covent Garden Project will be part of a series of buildings that constitute the North Station Business District.
This district is homogeneous in its sizes, which culminate at 100m, governed by a Special Development Plan since the Seventies: the Covent Garden Project is an extension of it in the St Josse-ten-Noode municipality.
The project’s architectural expression will give it a strong identity, at the head of the Northern District, oriented towards the city. The railway and the botanic gardens against which it is established will guarantee it unalterable visibility: the tower will be clearly identifiable in terms of the city and district alike, and will help to reinforce the identity of its occupant.
Because of this installation, the tower will also bring relatively little prejudice to the neighbouring buildings in terms of the shadow that it casts.
In Terms Of The District
The Covent Garden Project has been able to incorporate the site’s various constraints in order to guide the project’s composition.
Thus on the Place Rogier side, the low building will recompose the urban fabric of Rue St Lazare and Rue De Brabant with sizes equivalent to those of the neighbouring buildings. The project is in this sense enshrined in a town-planning rationale that comes directly from the City Centre in a Place De Brouckère / Place Rogier connection.
On the Railway side, the tower will be enshrined in the urban fabric of the North Station Business District, whose skyline will be extended to the Administrative City.
The establishment of the project will be an important asset for the St Josse municipality, not only in terms of enhancing property values, but also in terms of urban dynamics relating to the development of public spaces. A new public roadway system is thus to be created, at the request of the commune, between the tower and the railway, to allow accessibility to the parking and to facilitate traffic circulation within the district.
On the Botanical Park side, the low building will recompose the corner of Rue Gineste and Rue St Lazare in a fairly traditional manner, allowing the tower of the Covent Garden complex to emerge and, in the background, the tower of the International Rogier Centre.
Against the railway, the Covent Garden tower, because of its strong architectural expression, will create an original urban event, its shape expressing the fluidity of the railway traffic that transits via the nearby North Station before joining the North/South underground junction.
The interior garden, covered by a glass canopy, will be the natural extension of the park at the heart of the complex. A place of conviviality par excellence, it will furthermore participate in the treatment of the building’s wastewater, which has been developed specifically for the project and for the first time in Belgium for this type of assignment (“Eco-Machine” project).
This profoundly changing district of Brussels is required to accommodate major town-planning developments, as well as prestigious office buildings. It is located at the very heart of the life of the capital, in the vicinity of major roads of primary importance. It is also widely served by a dense public transport network, both national and local to Brussels: a large number of bus, underground and railway lines.
At the junction of Line 2 of the underground and Line 3 of the pre-underground, it is easy to establish:
– A direct connection with the airport from the North Station: 17 minutes by train are needed to get to Brussels International Airport.
– A connection with the European institutions via underground Line 2: From Rogier Station, one needs 10 minutes by underground to get to the Arts-Loi underground station.
– A connection with the city centre via pre-underground Line 3.
From the car point of view, the St Josse-ten-Noode municipality is planning to regroup the entrances to the International Rogier Centre, Place Rogier and Covent Garden parking areas. Covent Garden will nevertheless keep a separate entrance and will have the possibility of creating a separate exit if necessary.
We should also point out that there are some public parking areas within five minute’s walk at most, the nearest being the Rogier parking area beneath Place Rogier. In all, approximately 5,000 public parking places are available in the immediate vicinity of the buildings.
In Terms Of The Pedestrian
A walk around the project will at all times reveal an impressive scale to which the pedestrian can adapt. Rue St Lazare, Rue De Brabant and Rue Gineste will be recomposed within known sizes and town-planning references.
The complex’s main entrance, at the corner of Place Rogier, will create a strong landmark of the place, which will extend to the foot of the tower, crossing the covered green space.
Two secondary entrances will be developed in Rue De Brabant and Rue Gineste directly into the covered green space: the first will enable direct pedestrian access from North Station. The second will connect with the Botanic Park.
At the foot of the tower, preferential access will be developed for cyclists, who will have cloakrooms and showers at their disposal.
The entire project has, furthermore, been designed to be accessible at all points to persons of reduced mobility (PRM).
Covent Garden Brussels – Awards & Nominations
World Architecture Festival Awards 2008 – Barcelona – October 2008
– Energy – waste – recycling category – Nominee
CTBUH Awards 2008 – Chicago – September 2008
– Best Tall Building – Europe category – Honorable nominee
LEAF Awards 2008 – London – October 2008
– New Innovation of the year category – Nominee
Art & Build Architect (Brussels, Paris, Luxembourg, Toulouse) Website: www.artbuild.eu
Covent Garden Shopping Center Brussels images / information from Art & Build Architect
Covent Garden Shopping Center – further information on this Brussesl Shopping Center
Location:Covent Garden, Brussels, Belgium ‘
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picture from ZHA
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