Art deco car factory to be transformed into cultural hub

28 March 2018
  • Sergison Bates
  • Sergison Bates
  • Sergison Bates
  • Sergison Bates

Sergison Bates/noAarchitecten/EM2N




Design team selected for KANAL Centre Pompidou

In 2017, The Brussels-Capital Region announced an open competition to design the largest museum created in Brussels since the beginning of the 20th century, with a work budget of 125m EUR. Under the scheme, the former 1930s Art Deco Citroën Yser garage will be transformed into the KANAL Centre Pompidou, containing a museum of modern and contemporary art, an architecture centre and public spaces devoted to culture, education and leisure.

After an initial selection from 92 submissions, 7 teams were invited to present their detailed concepts. Now, the jury have unanimously selected noAarchitecten (Brussels), EM2N (Zurich) and Sergison Bates architects (London) to deliver the Centre. The judges praised the winning concept as exceptionally well integrated into the surrounding area, situated in the rapidly regenerating canal district. Entitled 'A Stage for Brussels', the design highlights iconic elements of the existing architecture, with the emptied and restructured showroom becoming the Centre's ‘display window’, home to installations, performances and concerts.

Other design elements throughout the Centre maximise flexibility, with exhibition spaces spread over four floors of varying heights, making a range of configurations possible for different events. Speaking on behalf of the team, Stephen Bates said: “Kanal is not a museum. It is two museums, one dedicated to modern and contemporary art, the other to architecture – and much, much more than that. The project is above all about an attitude, about appropriating a piece of the city and weaving it into its cultural and social fabric, about making an architectural framework that can act as a backdrop for spectacle, and a catalyst for social interaction.”

Work is scheduled to begin in the autumn of 2019 and will be phased over several stages until the official opening in late 2022, enabling the Centre to host cultural activities throughout construction.

Lucy Nordberg

TenderStream Research Specialist & Editor

This competition was first published by Tenderstream on 11.05.2017. See the original brief here

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