Brussels Capital Region (BE)

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Brussels Capital Region (BE)

Scale Urban and architectural
Team representative architect, urban designer, landscape architect, structural and technical engineer(s)
Location Ixelles, Brussels Capital Region
Population 1.2 million inhabitants
Strategic site 2.5 ha - Project site 0.2 ha

Site proposed by Société d’Aménagement Urbain (SAU) de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale
Actors involved Vivaqua, Commune d’Ixelles, Urban.Brussels, Commission Royale des Monuments et Sites
Owner(s) of the site SAU

Commission after competition Detailed Program-Building Study

More Information

Urban City Strategy

The “CIVA” site is located, close to the most important governmental and international sites of Brussels (Grand Place, Royal Palace, EU Institutions), on the territory of the Commune of Ixelles. This area is part of the central city, with a population that has a socio-economic level above the regional average. In general, the area is well served in terms of public facilities, shops, etc.
The territory of the Brussels-Capital Region is developed on 3 parallel valleys of small rivers and streams (today for the most part intubated in the network of sewers), namely the Senne, the Maelbeek and the Molenbeek.
The CIVA site is located on the ridge that divides the Senne Valley from the Maelbeek Valley.This elevated position also explains the location of the drinking water reservoir behind the CIVA.
The immediate surroundings of the site are characterized by large properties composed essentially of open but fenced spaces. One of them, the Vivaqua drink water reservoir is a semi-buried water reservoir built in 1855. Because of its underground but elevated character, it allows clear views and vis-à-vis for the surrounding buildings.

Site Definition

The CIVA is a museum, archives, library, meetings and discussions place about architecture and landscape. The archives house more than 500 collections, including those of Victor Bourgeois, René Braem, Victor Horta, Akarova and René Pechère.
In 2024, the CIVA will move in the Kanal-Pompidou project, in the former Citroën garage near the Willebroek Canal in downtown Brussels.
Therefore, it is expected from E16 to lead to a visionary future of the site, once the buildings will be emptied of their collections and museum functions.

How Must Metabolism and Inclusivity Be Developped and Connected?

The intervention perimeter is limited to the “CIVA” site.
The reflection perimeter includes the Vivaqua water reservoir and the streets bordering both the CIVA and the reservoir (rue de l’Ermitage, rue de la Vanne, rue du Couvent).

- A project of public interest, whether it is public equipment and/or public housing; the «housing» potential of this site has to be seen in combination with one or more public programs to be determined.
- A project that is in line with the regional will in terms of circularity (objective «Low Carbon Region») and on this basis therefore to increase the climate resilience of its real estate and built-up areas;
- A project that can be realized for a reasonable budget, depending on the public means and/or own funds available at the UAS. Project economics is a consideration;
- A project that takes into account the heritage values of the buildings as a whole.
- Any project should therefore be compatible with the constraint of a land that will remain public.

On the Vivaqua site, the stakes are the following:
- The use of the surface of the reservoir to integrate the possibility of renewable energy production in connection with the development of the CIVA project site;
- A landscaping of the slopes allowing a minimal maintenance and an intelligent management of rainwater;
- Enhancement of the historic pavilions on the site);
- Improvement of the security of access to the site (renovation of the gates on Rue du Couvent, physical delimitation with the future CIVA site) knowing that the grassy area and the Vivaqua site in general must, for security reasons, remain inaccessible.

Questions on the site

Coming soon...

This site is connected to the following theme

Dealing with New Uses

Care is about recognizing the vulnerability of our living milieu. It is about finding new design ways to pay attention to marginalized, hurt, or ignored areas and help to repair them.
These sites have available building stock at the end of their first or second life cycles. The sites lack strategic uses that could support the transition of the building stock to another life cycle. it is crucial to take care of relations between the uses, the inhabitants, and the building stock itself.

Questions on the site

Fr. 18 June 2021
Deadline for submitting questions

Fr. 2 July 2021
Deadline for answers

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Location of the site
Aerial view of the site perimeters
The 1895 secondary electricity factory
The 2000 "Brussels Cultural Capital of Europe" extension
Uses of the urban platform on the junction
Expo "Architects at Play"