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Thu July 18 2019

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Design team picked for EC offices

6 days The European Commission has picked a Spanish, British and German team to design new offices for more than 5,000 people in the European quarter of Brussels.

The ‘Loi 130' architectural competition has been won by Rafael De La-Hoz Arquitectos of Spain (team leader); Perkins & Will UK; Latz & Partner Landscape Architecture Urban Planning of Germany; and two more Spanish companies, Tecnica y Proyectos and MC2 Estudio de Ingenieria.

Once completed, the new complex will host offices for at least 5,250 people, two childcare centres, a visitors' centre to welcome 345,000 people per year, 3,000 square meters of restaurants and shops, and public spaces with green areas.

Now that the competition is over, the preparatory works can start. This includes negotiating the service contract with the winner of the first prize, developing the design in detail and obtaining all necessary building permits. The first phase of the works is expected to start in 2025. Once the first phase is finalised, the second phase, towards rue de Spa. The entire complex should be finished by 2035.

The competition was launched in the spring of 2018 to identify the best solution to replace part of its ageing offices in the European quarter.

Commissioner Günther Oettinger in charge of budget and human resources said: “The winning design proposes solid, innovative, efficient and forward-looking solutions to replace our old buildings on the Loi 130 site.”

Architect Monica von Schmalensee, who chaired the jury together with Oettinger, said: “Architecturally this complex and challenging competition fulfilled very high standards with three innovative winning designs. As a jury we especially valued the large and accessible public spaces the 1st prize winner will create and how the buildings integrate into the urban context. This will bring benefits not only to staff working there but also to residents and people passing by.”

The judges said that the winning project offers an innovative, sustainable and cost-efficient solution to replace the ageing Commission premises at rue de la Loi 130. In addition, the winning project was chosen on the basis of it being the best fit for the development plan for the European quarter adopted by the Brussels-Capital region in 2008, Projet Urbain Loi.

The Commission has awarded the second prize to a consortium from France: 2Portzamparc, Florence Mercier Paysagiste and Artelia Bâtiment & Industrie.

Third prize goes to a team led by Belgian businesses Buro II & Archi+I with B2Ai. Other members of the team are CF Møller Danmark, Delva Landscape Architects of the Netherlands and VK Engineering of Belgium.

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